Marc sat at his normal table in the cafeteria, nervously fidgeting with a note he had for his crush. He felt like a complete loser but there was no way he could tell Joel how he felt unless it was written down. Joel was far too handsome and charismatic, millions of miles out of his league but his mom had been encouraging him to try so nerves be damned he had written him a love confession. He was at school early, waiting for the first bell. His mom had to get to work earlier than school started but normally he didn’t mind sitting here in the mornings. He could get breakfast and he often waited to do home work until now but he was too nervous to do anything but wonder if this really was a good idea.
Suddenly his chair tilted backwards but he wasn’t scared until he saw Damon and Kirks faces “what you got in your hand dweeb?” Damon asked as Kirk snatched it. These boys were on the football team with Joel. However, unlike Joel who was always sweet these two were assholes. Marc didn’t think Joel knew how they treated him but he wasn’t a tattle tail “Please dont”
“what the fuck is this shit” Kirk said and handed the note to Damon who seemed equally upset. They finished jerking Marc out of his chair and a girl suddenly walked over “Hey, what’re you two doing”
“talking to our friend”
“you dont look like friends”
“what? Of course we are. This little dweeb is always hanging around the football team.”
“leave him alone and give whatever that paper is back” Damon ripped it up and threw it in the air like some performers might spread glitter. “we’ll leave him alone I guess” The boys walked away and Marc wanted to go hide under a rock “are you okay”
“thank you…you didn’t have to do that”
“Not like the teachers ever stop bullys around here. What was that paper?”
“Nothing” she frowned “want me to sit with you” Marc shook his head “I think I need to go” he didn’t know why he was so embarrassed but he didn’t want to be in school any more today. He didn’t want to be anywhere but home in bed and he felt horrible about it “why are you such a fucking coward” he said sadly to himself as he walked out of school and began making his way home. It was an hour walk but he didn’t want to call his mother either.
Once he finally made it home he went to his room, sat on his bed and cried. Cried because those assholes knew he liked Joel, cried because he felt like a coward and he cried for being stupid enough to try to tell Joel how he felt in the first place. Even if Joel was gay why would he want someone as worthless as he was.
Joel slipped past his teammates as they came running at him, grinning as he sped past them, using his speed and flexibility to his advantage. One of them came close to bringing him down, but he managed to get away and cross over the goal line, turning and chuckling at what he could see of their faces. “Come on Joel, that’s so unfair.” Steven said as he caught his breath.
“Hey, if you can’t catch at least one little shifter then how do you expect to tackle the enemy.” He teased, causing Steven as well as the others to laugh.
“That’s a little dramatic, the enemy, really?”
“Okay, maybe enemy was a little harsh, but you know it’s true. Hone those reflexes and you’ll be able to catch me, it just takes practice.” He knew they probably never would, but he wanted them to work hard, to want to win and using himself as their target would make them give it everything they had. “Come on guys, let’s run it again.”
Marc was now cleaning up some things around the house. He felt guilty for skipping school and he tried to help his mother anyway when it came to their home. She worked such long hours and even had already started two savings accounts for him. One was for college and the other was money for starting his life once he finished college. It meant even more to him that she had always done all this without a single penny from his dad. When he had walked out of their lives he had truly walked out. He never so much as called to see if the two of them were alive and at this point he hoped his dad didn’t have the nerve to, not after making his mother raise him by herself.
It was just the two of them so cleaning didn’t take long so he decided to go to his room and think about how he was going to talk to Joel about his feelings. That note really was stupid. He needed to man up and confess his feelings. If he didn’t soon, there was now a chance somebody else would tell Joel. Marc rubbed his face in frustration “damn it”
Joel finally noticed Mac wasn’t at school when he didn’t show up in the class they had together. He carefully pulled out his cellphone and began writing a text, hoping the teacher wouldn’t see. She was the kind of teacher who would just snatch up your phone and keep it until one of your parents came to get it from her.
“Where are you today Marc?” Joel slid the phone back into his pocket. He knew it would vibrate if Marc answered him and he wanted it in his hands where the teacher might see it as little as possible. Marc saw the message right away and typed back “I started off at school but I ended up not feeling so good” It was the truth, feeling humiliated didn’t feel good at all. The vibration made Joel want to pull his phone out but the teacher was walking around the classroom.
He waited patiently for her to make her way around his desk and when her back was turned, he looked at the message. He glanced at the teacher then responded, “I’ll come by after school, sound good?”
Marc’s heart stuttered in his chest when he saw what Joel had said and just stared at the phone for what seemed like forever. Why would he come over? Had someone told him what happened and he was fishing for the truth? He wanted to text back no, but he didn’t want to hurt Joel’s feelings. “Alright.” He finally sent back.
“I’ll bring snacks, just rest.”
Joel put his phone away and did his best to focus on his classwork. He hoped Marc wasn’t feeling too sick and wondered if he should pick up some chicken soup or something as well. Marc paced around his room for a little bit, trying to think of how he was going to tell Joel he loved him. He flopped down on his bed and stared up at the ceiling. There was a part of him that wished he had actually been sick.
Joel was going to know he was fine the second he got over here so that would mean he’d need to be ready for the talk. He wasn’t sure he’d be any good at faking sick and he didn’t want to make this situation worse by lieing to Joel. He needed to tell him and he would no matter how scary that was. The second the school bell rang to let everyone know the day was over Joel rushed out to his car, throwing his backpack in the back seat then getting in the front. He opened his group text with his parents and let them know he wouldn’t be coming straight home today then drove off. He didn’t have to wait and see if it was okay. He was free to mostly do what he wanted as long as he checked in.
He heard his phone ping but ignored it until he pulled up to the store. It was his mother “alright, your father and I wont be home until tomorrow anyway. Your father transferred some money into your account in case you were getting low so feel free to eat dinner out somewhere” Joel smiled, wondering where his dad had taken his mother now. They had such a wonderful, romantic relationship and he hoped that one day he’d have what they had.
“alright mom, I love you. Don’t feel like you two need to rush home. You know I’m fine” With that Joel walked into the store and began shopping for things he liked when he felt ill. He knew a lot about Marc but what his comfort foods were when he was sick wasn’t an area of expertise for him yet. He wanted to ask but if Marc was trying to sleep it off he didn’t want to wake him. If his teacher wasn’t such a hard ass about phones he could of asked in class but he understood. Joel knew some kids would be on their phones all day every day if they weren’t strict about it.
He headed over to Marc’s once he had paid for everything and wanted to text him that he was outside once he got there, but still worried he could be resting and he wasn’t going to force him to get out of bed to let him in. He just tried the front door and found it locked, so he went around back and tried the sliding glass door. It slid open and he stepped inside. “Marc? It’s Joel.” He said as he closed the door.
Marc’s heart nearly jumped out of his chest and it took him a moment to open his mouth and respond. “In…in my room.” He called back, hating that his voice shook. He could hear Joel heading toward his door and felt like hiding. He sat up as his door opened and felt his cheeks heat when Joel smiled at him.
“Hey you, how’re you feeling?” Joel held up the bag in his hand. “I brought you some stuff to make you feel better. I even got you some soup at the store deli, I’ve heard it’s good.”
“Oh um thank you.”
Joel crossed over to him and sat down, cocking his head to the side. “You alright?” He reached out and touched Marc’s forehead with the back of his hand. “You’re warm, but you don’t smell sick. Maybe it’s a migraine or something?” He shrugged. “Either way, I hope you like everything I grabbed, I wasn’t really sure what to get you.”
“thank you…this is really sweet” Joel gave him a gentle smile “what’re best friends for. I was worried the second I didn’t see you. You never miss school” Joel was now pulling out the things he had bought and was setting them on the bed, only setting the soup on the nightstand. “Does any of this look good?”
“ye…yeah but um…I” Joel was looking him in the eyes and Marc had to avert his gaze “I’m…not sick…I wasn’t lieing when I said I wasn’t feeling good but…I’m not sick”
“Oh, well what’s going on?”
“I came to school today…well…I came to give you a letter” he stopped himself, not wanting to bring up the guys on his team “well, the letter isn’t important…it’s just…I had to write something down because it’s too hard to tell you”
“what’s too hard to tell me, you can tell me anything”
“I’m…“Joel gently grabbed his chin, tilting Marcs face so they’d be looking at each other ‘You’re what Marc…please talk to me”
“I…I want to be more than friends…I love you…I love you so much but I get it if you’re not into me…I dont even know if you like” Joel kissed him and almost instantly Marc felt like he was going to overheat.
Joel pulled back and Marc swallowed, frozen. “You shouldn’t hide things from me.” Joel said.
“I…I thought…I’m sorry.”
Joel smiled and brushed his lips over Marc’s again. “Don’t be, but you should never be afraid to be honest with me.”
“It’s just I thought you were too good for me. I mean I’m not that amazing or anything and you’re so popular.”
“Do you think I care about popularity? I’m so happy you said something.” He rubbed their noses together and Marc thought his heart was going to explode. “So, where’s the letter?”
Marc’s heart jumped. “Um…well…”
“I want to read it, I bet it’s sweet.” Marc looked away, not wanting to cause any trouble between Marc and his teammates. “Hey, what’s wrong? You can tell me.”
“I don’t want you to get in a fight.”
“I won’t, tell me.” He turned Marc’s face back towards him, suddenly concerned.
“Well, I was going to give it to you, but two people took it from me and…and one of them ripped it up.” He actually saw Joel’s eyes darken and heard the growl starting to rumble in his chest.
“Lets just be happy Joel. It doesn’t matter”
“It does matter, nobody should be taking anything from you. Have they messed with you before?”
“well yeah but”
“But nothing, tell me who has been messing with you.” Marc couldn’t believe how angry Joel seemed. He had always been so calm and friendly. “Look it’s Kirk and Damon but it’s not a big deal. I just want to hangout with you for right now and I don’t want things to be awkward. They’re on your team. You guys don’t need to be fighting.”
“You need to talk to me about things Marc”
“I’m sorry” Joel tried to calm down, not wanting to scare his mate. He hated the way his voice had sounded when he apologized “can you just tell me what it said then? It’ll help me relax after hearing you’ve been bullied by two guys I thought were my friends”
“I’m sure they are your friends” Joel huffed then tried to swallow down his anger “Please tell me what your letter said. Can you try to recite what you wrote for me?”
“ye yeah…well…” Marc nervously shifted and Joel moved behind Marc, situating them so he was holding Marc. He had been so nervous and he would have expected Joel holding him to make it worse but it actually brought calm to him. “I started it how I just told you really, telling you I love you and that I’d understand if you didn’t feel the way I did…I also wrote about when I fell in love with you…my mom said you might like that”
“Your mom helped you?”
“She didn’t help me write it…she’s just been pushing me to tell you and giving me ideas”
“Okay, so when did you fall in love with me?”
“Um, well, do you remember when we went to Summer camp in elementary school and you accidentally hit me with a football?”
“Yeah, I made you cry.”
“You came over and helped me up and told me I could hit you back if I wanted too.”
“You looked so surprised and then you started smiling.” He squeezed Marc, pressing a kiss to his cheek. “That was really the moment?”
“Yeah.” He answered softly.
“Stop being so cute.” He said with a chuckle.
“You are and you always have been. You should have told me.” He turned Marc’s head and rubbed their noses together. “What else did your letter say?”
Marcs heart stuttered. It was crazy a man like Joel not only liked him but cared so much about the letter. “just what I love about you…you’re such an amazing person, especially for giving me the time of day” Joel chuckled “spending time with you is completely selfish. I’ve wanted you for so long”
“why didn’t you say anything?”
“humans and shifters don’t mix often, not that I think my parents or your mom will mind it’s just…some will mind and I wanted to wait to start ripping peoples throats out as long as possible”
“yeah…like just a couple months ago that whole little family was killed because one was a human and the shifters family didn’t like it…I know some shifters wont even accept a human even if they’ve changed for their” Marc paused and Joel kissed his cheek “mate and nobody will ever touch you.”
“being with you would be worth it…I mean it”
Joel rubbed his nose against Marc’s cheek. “Does that mean you’ll consider changing for me?”
“Being able to love you forever would make me incredibly happy.” He let his lips move over the back of Marc’s neck, giving him a little nip.
Marc’s heart stuttered uncontrollably in his chest, his skin burning hot with his embarrassment. “Um, so maybe we should eat?”
Joel chuckled. “I really love you, Marc and you don’t have to be so nervous, I’ll only go as far as you want me too.”
“I know, it’s just wolves are…you know…”
“I do, but you’re my mate and I respect you. You don’t have to worry about me getting frustrated or angry, I love you.”
“I love you too.” Marc reached over and grabbed the soup. “Do you want some?”
“I’m good, just let me hold you.”
Marc carefully ate, making sure not to let any fall off the spoon and onto Joel. They continued to talk until his mother came home and checked on him as she always did by opening the door “Oh” a big grin took the place of her shock “I see telling him went well. I’ll get out of the way then. I can actually go out if you want the house to yourself”
“we’re fine mom” Marc said, blushing profusely. Joel chuckled “thanks but I just want to hold him”
“you’re a sweet boy, I’ll just order some pizza for dinner” She shut the door and Joel kissed Marcs cheek “you don’t have to be so embarrassed. I’m glad you’re mom would be happy to leave me alone with you” Joel said then gently bit Marcs ear.
“What?” He rubbed his nose over Marc’s cheek then gently grabbed his chin and turned his head. “You’re so cute my love, I could just eat you up.” He heard Marc’s heart stutter and grinned.
“Not now, later, when you’re ready. I’m just happy to have you, to know I can have you.” He rubbed their noses together then their lips. “You’ll have to let me start picking you up for school.”
“You don’t have too, you’d be going out of your way.”
“You’re my mate and I want people to see us together, I want to show my supposed friends just how important you are to me and that they are never to touch you without your permission.”
“Just don’t fight, okay, I mean unless you have too.”
“I won’t, I promise, but I might grumble a little.”
That night when Joel had to pry himself away from Marc because they both needed to sleep for school he wanted to pay a visit to each of the boys who had bothered his mate but he kept telling himself Marc would be upset. He was certainly going to have a serious talk with them at school tomorrow. He couldn’t believe their nerve since they knew that he and Marc were friends. He should have gotten that note today and his mate shouldn’t have to worry about being bullied.
He forced himself to drive home and let his parents know he and Marc were together. They were happy for him but as he knew his father would he reminded him of the potential problems the two of them being together would cause, not in their own pack but among other wolves. “I’m ready for that. I love him”
“I know, just making sure you’re ready for that”
“I’m ready to put anybody in their place, starting with my supposed friends in school”
“Did someone hurt him?” His mother asked.
“Yes, more emotionally than physically, but they should know better.”
“You know the rules, just don’t kill anyone. Other than that, feel free to do what you must.” His father added.
“I know, besides, Marc would be disappointed if I hurt them, he doesn’t want me getting violent with them even though I feel like they deserve it.”
“If they ever do it again, don’t hold back, I’m sure he’ll understand.”
“I hope so, I don’t want to scare him away when I just got him.”
“Remember, if you need any help, you can always come to us, whether it be with wolves, humans, or just relationship advice.” His mother gave him a warm smile.
“I know, thank you. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Joel paused before he went up “hey, weren’t you two supposed to be gone until tomorrow?” His mother laughed “and here I thought you’d be too happy about getting your mate to notice. Yeah, we came back early but you look tired. We can talk about why another time unless you really want to talk about it now”
“I am pretty tired, it was exhausting worrying about Marc” Now his father chuckled “get to bed son and try not to drive yourself too crazy now that you have someone to worry about” Joel went to his room and settled in for the night. He hated his parents date got ruined somehow but it had been nice to see them. Over breakfast the next morning Joel and his mother started talking about why they had come home. Apparently there had been a series of murders in the past few months in the area they had tried to go to and his father hadn’t wanted to take any chances.
“I’m glad you’re both okay. Do they know anything?”
“Young men and women, about college aged, killed on the way home or in their homes. They didn’t let out what species the victims might be or the weapon used. Even though we’re shifters, I didn’t want to risk it not knowing all the details.”
“Hopefully they catch whoever it is soon.” He glanced at the clock on the wall. “I need to get going, I have to get Marc.” His parents both laughed and Joel quickly finished his food, hugged them both then hurried out. He couldn’t wait to show off that he was with Marc to everyone.
“You don’t have to wait on the porch honey, he’ll knock.” Marc’s mom said with a little laugh.
“I know, I just want to be here is all.” He blushed, his heart hammering in his chest.
“I’m just happy you two finally got to together, I was about ready to grab him and tell him myself.”
“I mean it, I was getting anxious.”
“Well…thanks for letting me do it” she smiled “It needed to come from you. Besides, nothing would make me happier than you coming out of your shell more. You’re amazing son and the world would see it more if you were a little more confident. Look forward to me pushing you into all sorts of confidence building situations. I fear I don’t have much time left before you’re completely grown and out of here”
“Mom” she laughed “I love you son, everything I do is out of love for you” He went over to his mother and hugged her “I know”
“Just think now, the boy you thought the world of thinks the world of you. That has to mean something to you”
Marc nodded. “Yeah.”
His heart skipped a beat when Joel finally pulled up and he told his mother bye as he headed off the porch and down the walkway. “Good morning.” Joel said when he got in.
“Good morning, um, thank you for picking me up.”
Joel smiled. “Of course.” He leaned closer and Marc blushed when he realized Joel was going to kiss him. It was brief, but left him feeling embarrassed when he remembered his mom was on the porch. “Ready to go?” Joel asked.
“Yeah, is my mom still there?”
Joel looked past him then waved. “Yes.”
Marc turned and waved by to his mom who he could tell was laughing. Joel pulled away and he covered his face. “She’s totally going to tease me.”
“She just loves you.”
“I know, she’s really happy we’re together.”
“It’s nice having her blessing.”
“My mom is one of those parents that just cares if I’m happy”
“Yeah, I like her a lot. My parents are happy about us too by the way. You really should meet them. I mean, I know you’ve met them but I’d really like us all to do something together”
“sure, I can ask my mom when her next day off is” Marc pulled out his cellphone, texting his mom quickly to ask. Once he was done he said “she’s either finishing up getting ready for work or getting in the car herself so I probably wont know for a bit”
“Is everything going well with her?”
“Oh yeah, she still loves her job and everyone there. She actually just got a raise which made her so happy she cried. Things seem to be working out for both of us”
Marc was red faced the entire ride to school, Joel’s smile causing his heart to stutter in his chest. His embarrassment became worse when they finally pulled into the school parking lot and he actually became worried about what people would think. He didn’t want anyone to hate Joel or give him trouble. “Don’t make that face, it doesn’t suit you.” Joel said as he leaned over and gently grabbed Marc’s chin. “I love you, so stop worrying.”
“Are you psychic or something?”
Joel smiled. “No, I can just sense your emotions, the change in your scent, and your heart is beating really fast.” He kissed him. “Come on, I want to show everyone my wonderful, new mate.”
Marc couldn’t help but feel happy over how proud Joel walked with him down the school halls, their fingers laced together as he was lead to his locker. He gathered everything he needed and Joel walked him to class, stopping outside the doorway to give him a kiss. “I’ll see you in a little bit, tell me if anyone bothers you.”
“I will, I…I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Marc couldn’t help but glance around. He was trying not to be anxious but not only did he have his first boyfriend, they were in vastly different leagues when it came to looks and social groups. Swallowing down his nerves he went into class and sat down. He had never been more eager for a school day to end and he knew he’d probably feel this way every day now. They were at the start of a completely new chapter of their lives and Marc hoped he could be a good enough boyfriend to be with Joel forever.
~ The End