Wolfric woke on his couch, hoping yesterday didn’t happen and it was all some terrible dream. He had fallen asleep crying and absolutely embarrassed. He had developed serious feelings for a friend whom he thought was interested in him in return but he quickly learned upon confessing his feelings that he had completely misinterpreted everything. What made the matter worse was that he didn’t simply say no. The man who had meant so much to him mocked Wolfric and then went on a long, disgusted rant about somehow not realizing he was gay and that two men being together was repulsive. Wolfric honestly didn’t even know how he hadn’t known he was gay. It wasn’t like he went into rooms announcing it but it wasn’t a secret.
He guessed it didn’t matter. He just felt stupid and he wasn;t sure if he was ever going to have the courage to ask someone out again or even trust himself if he thought someone was interested. He almost started crying again when he checked his texts and Facebook. He could atleast sort of pretend yesterday didn’t happen, that he hadn’t woken on the couch because he had cried himself to sleep unintentionally but somehow some of his other friends already knew about what happened and were messaging him concerned. It made him cry all over again. He just wanted to stay in his apartment forever and never show his face again, he was far too embarrassed.
He heard a knock on his door and went dead silent. He knew it was childish and he really couldn’t hide forever but today he was just going to pretend he wasn’t home. The knock was louder and he heard his sister yell “Wolfric! You better not still be sleeping damn it! You promised you’d help me entertain Burkharts friend until he, mom and dad finished their job!” He inwardly asked himself why the universe hated him so much. Plans with his sister and her husbands friend who was in town visiting completely slipped his mind and he knew his sister might break in any second if he didn’t answer the door.
He got off the couch yelling, “Alright, I’m coming.” He pulled the door open as she went to knock again and she froze, her eyes filling with concern.
“Wolfric, your eyes are all puffy. What happened?”
“I’m fine, just let me take a quick shower and change okay, sorry I forgot.”
“Okay, but he’s in the car.”
“Then just bring him up here and watch TV, I just need a minute.”
“Alright then. I’ll make some coffee and cook some breakfast for…”
“Coffee’s fine, but I’ll just grab something.”
“Hey” she started as she grabbed his hand “please talk to me when you can okay? Something is obviously really wrong” Wolfric nodded then walked to his room, still wishing he could just hide today but he had made a promise to his sister and now that she knew he was depressed there wasn’t any way she’d leave him alone. If he tried that now she’d probably just get their parents and brother over here. He knew that because he knew how much they loved him and even he knew isolation only made depression worse. They would make him do what he needed to do, not what he wanted. He tried to use thoughts of them to shake off the humiliation he felt and the sadness he would have felt regardless after being rejected by someone who had come to mean so much but his mind just started dwelling again on how he could be so stupid and blind. He had truly thought his feelings were reciprocated, he had truly thought he was flirting with him too.
His phone was still making noises as he showered, he could hear it now and then and knew he probably wasn’t being fair to his friends. They were concerned and he was only making it worse. He was just scared to find out how they knew. Had Anthony made a Facebook post about what happened? Had someone overheard the entire thing? Did some ass with no sense of privacy video tape what happened and spread it on the web? He couldn’t stand the thought of any of that being true but his friends did know somehow.
When Wolfric could pull himself out of the shower he quickly dried and dressed, knowing his sister and the man they were entertaining had waited on him long enough. He didn’t much care what he wore so he threw on a clean pair of jeans and the first shirt hanging in his closet before exiting his room to get a pair of shoes. He didn’t look at the couch where he knew they were as he walked to the spot by the door his shoes always lay “sorry to keep you two waiting” he apologized, proud he had spoken in a normal sounding voice.
“That’s alright, we’re not in a real rush.” Celestia said.
He picked up his shoes. “Oh yeah, explains why you decided to bang on my door like a mad woman and…and…” His eyes collided with Merle’s and his heart gave a stutter. They were a deep green, like two emeralds, and they watched him curiously, seemingly staring right down to the very core of who he was. Intense, predatory, like staring into the eyes of a large cat. Merle cocked his head to the side, giving him a questioning look and Wolfric blushed as he looked away.
“And what?” Celestia said.
“I said and what?”
“And practically drag me out of bed and outside.”
“I just wanted to make sure you hadn’t forgotten.”
“Well, to be honest, I did. Sorry.” He sat down on the coffee table and pulled his shoes on. He stood and turned to Merle, offering his hand. “I’m Wolfric, nice to meet you.”
Merle stood and shook his hand. “Nice to meet you too, I hope I’m not inconveniencing you.”
“No, not at all, just had a busy day yesterday.”
“Are you sure everything’s okay?” Celestia asked as she got to her feet.
“Yeah, I’ll tell you later. Let’s go out and have some fun.”
Celestia knew something had to be terribly wrong with her brother. It scared her not knowing what was going on with him that had him looking so distraught but they were entertaining her husbands friend today and she wouldn’t embarrass him by forcing out what happened in front of Merle. They went out to her car and out of courtesy Wolfric got in the back seat so Merle could have the front with his sister. It threw him off when Merle sat in the back with him, those green eyes looking into his blue ones yet again, that same questioning look. Though there was a question there it truly felt like this man could see everything. “s…so you’re a good friend of Burkharts?” Wolfric asked so they wouldn’t just be looking at eachother.
“Yes, I’ve been meaning to visit for quite some time but one thing always seems to lead to another so I stay pretty busy”
“Do you like it around here?”
“It’s a nice area and your sister is good company, I’m looking forward to getting to know you aswell Wolfric. I am sorry for whatever happened for your eyes to filled with so much sadness” Wolfric looked away “I’m fine” Merle looked out his window, giving Wolfric a moment before taking his hand, trying to comfort him. Wolfric would have thought something like that was the last thing he wanted right now but it actually did make him feel a bit better. He couldn’t look back over at Merle or even say anything but he hoped Merle kept his hand until the car stopped.
Celestia insisted he eat something and drove them to a diner, fussing over him and telling him to order whatever he wanted. He was sure she was trying to cheer him up so he ordered a big plate of biscuits and gravy. Since they had eaten before coming to get him, they just sipped on some coffee. “So, what do you boys want to do today?” She asked.
Wolfric shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“What do you like to do?” Merle asked, those eyes unblinking as they studied him.
“Uh, well…I like the park, it’s nice and there’s the skating rink, I go there sometimes.”
“You don’t work with your family?”
“No, violence isn’t exactly my cup of tea. I’m a dentist, the most violent thing I do is clean teeth.” Merle smiled and Wolfric gave a nervous laugh. “What about you?”
“I don’t do much, attend charity functions and the like.”
“You’re like our parents and Burkhart then?”
He nodded. “That’s how he and I met. Our parents knew each other.”
“Books, I also like collecting stones, hiking.”
“There’s a store, it sells you know Wicca stuff, they have stones if you’d like to go.”
Merle smiled “eat a little more then I’d love to go” Wolfric ate as much as he could stomach then asked “is this good enough?”
“yeah, I just wanted you to eat something. You’re already looking better” She felt the urge to push him again to tell her but she kept silent, simply paying the bill then leaving the restaurant with them. The shop Wolfric was talking about hadn’t been far from where they stopped to eat so they were soon out of the car again and walking in. Wolfric hoped Merle actually enjoyed this shop. He was sure if he had anywhere near the amount of money Burkhat had he probably didn’t want for much. He might already have everything this little store had to offer.
“This one’s pretty.” Wolfric said as he picked up a large stone and turned it to catch the light.
“Bismuth.” Merle took it from him. “It’s like holding a rainbow.”
“Do you have that one?”
He nodded as he handed it back. “The one I have is bigger than that.”
Wolfric put the stone back. “What about this one?” He picked up a smaller stone.
“Blue chalcedony.” He lifted it out of Wolfric’s palm then held it up, looking between him and the stone.
“Wh…what? Do I have food on my face or something?”
Merle smiled. “It matches your eyes.” He held onto it as they continued around the shop. Wolfric glanced at his sister who was messing with the fanned out deck of tarot cards. “Want to try?” Merle asked and Wolfric turned his attention back to him.
“No, I was just making sure she wasn’t bored.” He turned and picked up a large, dark green stone. “Look, this one matches your eyes.”
“Malachite, did you know it’s aligned with the heart chakra?” Wolfric shook his head. “Chalcedony is associated with the throat and third eye chakras.”
“You really know a lot about stones and minerals.”
Merle shrugged. “It’s my past time. Would you like that one?”
Merle took it from him. “Then I’ll get it for you.” Wolfric could see there would be no arguing. His intense gaze never wavered.
“So, what are you exactly?” Wolfric asked, looking away as a blush crept up his neck.
“My father was an amarok, my mother was human. Amarok are giant wolves.”
“That’s really cool”
“I’m sure not any more cool than being half zombie from your father and half vampire from your mother. You and your siblings are remarkable” Wolfrics blushing was even more noticeable now so his sister tried harder to stay out of the way. She didn’t mind being a third wheel if it meant her brother finding some happiness with somebody. Even if it was just in a new friendship after the night he had obviously had last night she would make herself scarce if Merle could keep pulling smiles out of him. The matchmaker in Celestia made her wonder if things could develop into more. She knew her brother had a pretty big crush on one of his friends but she wasn’t sure that guy was gay, she knew for a fact Merle was gay.
While Merle paid for the stones, Wolfric went over to the tarot cards and looked down at them. He took one and flipped it over, blushing when he saw the lovers card. “What did you get?” Merle asked from behind him and he quickly put it back.
“I…I don’t know.” He stuttered.
Merle chuckled and the sound made Wolfric’s heart dance. “Alright then, we should get going. You said something about a park.”
Merle handed him a small bag. “Your stone.”
“Thank you.” They left, climbing back into the car where Merle once again sat with him in the backseat. Celestia glanced in the mirror at them, smiling at how shy her brother was around Merle.
Merle kept thinking about that card, wondering what it meant. Maybe it was the world taunting him after what happened between him and Anthony. He definitely wouldn’t let himself think that meant anything about him and Merle. Heartbroken or not he had noticed how handsome Merle was and it was incredibly sweet he had bought him something. It didn’t matter he had a lot of money, a gift was still something special. He tried to push the card out of his head as they came close to the park. He didn’t want to drag the day down, especially when Merle was showing himself to be a possible new friend. Anthony may have ruined his night but Wolfric decided as he got out of the car he’d do his best to not let Anthony ruin today. If not for the new friendship with Merle, for his sister who was counting on him to help keep Merle entertained for the day.
In the park Celestia noticed his tune had somehow increased quite a bit. There was obvious sadness still there but he was in a much better state than she found him in this morning. In the park Merle and Wolfric were doing most of the talking so Celestia decided to check her Facebook from her phone. Celestia had been so busy she hadn’t been on in a few days and it didn’t take long for her to learn what happened with her brother. Wolfirc had confessed his feelings in a public place. A well meaning friend they hadn’t realized was there had started a live feed to capture the two of them finally getting together since even Wolfrics friends had thought Anthony was interested. From the comments it looked like some of his friends were suspecting Anthony lead him on on purpose, like it had been some sort of cruel game while others just couldn’t believe what a colossal jerk he had been, ripping Wolfric to shreds like that with his words instead of just nicely saying he wasn’t interested.
Celestia was livid and hadn’t realized just how far she had fallen behind the two men until she looked up and coudln’t even see them. She was glad they weren’t standing right there so she could breath through the anger a second before rejoining them. All she wanted to do right now was knock Anthonys teeth out for hurting her sweet baby brother so badly. Rejection was a part of life but there had been no reason to be that mean to him.
“So, I’ve heard quite a bit about your family, your parents in particular.” Merle said as he and Wolfric walked at a leisurely pace. “They’re interesting to say the least.”
Wolfric nodded. “Everyone who doesn’t know us always seems surprised when I tell them my dad is a zombie and my mom’s a vampire. It’s hard for them to take in he doesn’t need human flesh to survive and they make this face, this confused, shocked face. Yes, I realize my siblings and I are freaks, we’re happy with it, no we won’t suddenly try eating you and neither will our dad.”
“You have two siblings correct?”
“Finnigan and Celestia. Finn’s out of the country with his fiance helping fight for zombie rights. There are a lot of places that still don’t have them where zombies are executed or assaulted once they’re found out. Our parents handed him a credit card and told them to stay safe and call if they needed any help. He sends updates, pictures of them and the people they’re helping. He looks like Indiana Jones.”
Merle smiled. “He’s your hero.”
“Yeah and it’s nice being part of a family of oddities.”
Merle grabbed his hand, bringing him to a stop. “It’s good to be different, being odd makes you special. Anyone who can’t see that is obviously both ignorant and blind.”
“You’re a really nice guy Merle…”
“I don’t want to dampen the mood but I really want to ask. Was it anything to do with what you are that caused your problems last night?” Merle had gotten his mind so far off last night it took him a second to register the question “Oh…well…it has to do with me being different but…not different as in me being half zombie, half vampire” Merles head cocked to the side again “is it because you’re gay?” Wolfric nervously chuckled “you noticed huh?”
“was it that? Did someone bully you?” Now Wolfirc was confused, he actually seemed upset at the thought even though Merle barely knew him. Why should he care so much what happened to him the night before. “eh” he started, rubbing the back of his head “I was just an idiot and I made someone uncomfortable…I think he lashed out because I embarrassed him…I said something in a public place and I think he just wanted to make it clear he wasn’t like me”
Merle’s hands came up, framing his face and tipping his head up so Wolfric had to look into his eyes. He was frozen, unable to look or break away. “Tell me the truth.” Merle said in a gentle, but firm tone. One that said he wasn’t going to back down because this was important.
Wolfric swallowed, feeling the hurt creeping back in. “He…he said some really cruel, messed up things, things I never expected him to ever say to me. I thought…I thought he liked me, but I was wrong. He started screaming at me and one of my friends filmed it thinking something great was going to happen so now everyone knows.”
Merle pulled him into a hug and Wolfric actually clung to him, doing his best not to cry. The last thing he wanted was for Merle to see him being a baby. “I’m sorry you had to go through that, would you like me to punish him?”
“No.” He yelled as he pulled back and blushed at the outburst. “Sorry, just please, it’s done and over with, I don’t want to drag it out.”
“I think you should let him beat the snot out of him.” Celestia said, hearing their conversation as she drew closer. “Or I can do it or maybe dad.”
“Please, no one needs to do anything.”
“Well your friends think otherwise. I saw everything on Facebook, you should have said something.”
“I’m fine, I’m really fine, I just don’t want to think about it anymore. Thank you, both of you really.”
Merle gently stroked his cheek. “If you change your mind, tell me.”
Wolfric gave a single nod “Um, lets get back to enjoying ourselves…I’ve really started to feel better”
“You should stay the night at my place Wolfric. My husband wanted you to join us for dinner anyway to thank you for hanging out with us today so you may aswell just stay. Maybe I could leave you two here at the park, go to your place and get what you’ll need. I’ll take it to mine then come back for you two. You like him enough to be left with Wolfric, right Merle?”
“then I’ll go” she started to walk away and Wolfric said “didn’t that start as a question?”
“You were hurt last night and you aren’t going to be alone for this one. You promised me you’d help with Merle and Merle wants to be alone with you in the park, are you going to be a bad host?” She smiled a bit smugly then continued walking off. Merle chuckled then remarked “itll be nice to have you around that long. I wish they had introduced us sooner”
“They’re all pretty busy.” He gave a nervous laugh. “So, we should keep going then?”
“Okay.” Merle reluctantly let him go and they started down the path again, Wolfric feeling better now that he had actually talked to someone. Merle’s hand brushed his, making his heart jump and he actually caught him smiling out of the corner of his eye. His body warmed and he looked off, hating how nervous he felt. He knew that wolves could be very forward, he’d met more than one growing up, it was common with his parents work and most of them tended to say exactly what was on their mind. He wondered if Merle was hinting at being attracted to him and his mind drifted back to the tarot card.
“So, about the card.” He finally said.
“The tarot card I picked out, um it was The Lovers.” He glanced at Merle who was watching him. He felt incredibly vulnerable under that penetrating gaze and it took everything he had not to look away. “S…say something, please.”
“The Lovers, it doesn’t always symbolize a happily ever after. Each card has a duality to it.”
“What do you want it to mean?”
“What do you want it to mean? When you saw it, what was the first thought that went through your head?”
Wolfric swallowed. “Um…well…it was about you.” He looked away. “I know it’s stupid, we don’t even know each other, but…”
“The Lovers can represent a sort of all consuming love, a love that you should willingly and openly fuel, it can be perfect and wonderful, but you can’t stop adding to it.”
“How do you know all that?”
“When you’re bored you tend to pick up a few things. I have some books on tarot and magic in my library, interesting reads.” He laced his fingers with Wolfric’s, causing him to look at him. “It’s something you should think about. I’m half wolf after all, we tend to know who and what we want, it’s instinct, we feel it in every cell of our being.”
“That must be nice, to just know who you’re meant to be with”
“It can be nice but it can be painful too”
“lets just say for instance you finally see the person who is supposed to be your mate but it seems to be a bad time. So you’re stuck, you don’t want to be selfish and tell them you were meant for eachother when they’re already going through something but at the same time you have to wonder if telling them you got that feeling, that knowing wolves get when they see their mate might help that person feel better.” he chuckled “sorry…it’s just…it can be hard to find your mate if they don’t seem to be in a place where they can accept a new relationship in their life.” Merle brought Wolfrics hand to his lips, kissing the back of it. He knew he shouldn’t but he needed to do something to shut himself up. He was being far too specific and obvious. Wolfric had just gotten his heart pounded into the dust, and worse, the night before they finally met. Merle was not only angry at the young man who dared be so cruel to his mate but he was angry at himself for not coming just a bit sooner.
Merle knew from the very second Wolfric walked into the room he was his. He told himself he had waited this long, what was whatever time it took Wolfric to be ready to open his heart to him. He would stay close, try to mend him and more importantly keep other males away from what was his. He wondered if Wolfric knew just how protective and jealous male wolves could be.
Wolfric’s heart was tripping over itself and he wasn’t quite sure what to do. He was a little terrified. “But…what if they never love you or they’re already married?”
“That’s the worst case scenario, finding your mate only to be rejected or to have been too late. I guess you just learn to deal with it and try not to growl at their husband or wife.”
“I don’t know if I could do that, I think I’d wind up running away.”
“That’s also an option.”
Wolfric gave him a small smile. “So, how do wolf relationships work? I mean, I’ve met a few, but I didn’t ask a lot of questions.”
“Well for starters, we mate for life. Once we find the one, that’s it and we will do whatever it takes to keep our mate in our life. It can be somewhat distressing to be apart, but we don’t interfere in our mates life. Some of us can be maddeningly affectionate and we have a proclivity for marking what’s ours.”
“With our scent and teeth. It says, this one is mine and if you touch him my teeth will have a mind of their own. Most of us are not even close to shy when it comes to nudity or sex.”
Wolfric blushed. “I…I knew about the nudity part.”
“Seen a lot of naked wolves?”
“When I was fifteen I went to Russia with my parents and there was a pack there. They wanted my parents help them and when we went out to meet the alpha, he didn’t even have a spare pair of jeans.”
Merle chuckled “well I’ll keep my clothes on if itll make you comfortable. I’m use to having to wear them” An image of Merle naked flashed in his mind causing Wolfric to attempt letting go of Merles hand. Merle kept it but asked “do I have to let you go? I will if you need me to..I..just like this”
“You’re fine, sorry”
“No need to be sorry. Speak up if I make you uncomfortable alright” They were left alone in the park talking for hours but Wolfric ended up glad for it. He was amazed at how comfortable Merle was making him when he thought he’d be afraid to connect with anybody again. It had been a nice day and he was glad he ignored his desire to stay home alone.
The sound of honking drew their attention the other side of the park and they saw Celestia waving at them from her car. Wolfric almost released Merle’s hand again, but stopped himself, making Merle smile. “You took a long time.” Wolfric said once he was in the back and buckled.
Celestia shrugged. “You know how it is, wanted to make sure I grabbed all the important stuff.”
“You mean clothes and a toothbrush?”
“Yeah, picking out an outfit for you, it took me a bit.”
Wolfric eyed her suspiciously and she just grinned as she pulled away from the park and headed home. Wolfric could see their parents car parked out front as they pulled into the driveway and he felt suddenly nervous. He knew they were going to make a big deal out of what Anthony had done to him. The minute they were through the door, his mother had him in a tight hug and both his father and brother in law looked ready to kill someone. “Are you alright sweetie?” Fatima asked as she pulled back to look at him.
“Yeah, it’s fine, I promise.”
“It’s far from fine, Wolfric, what kind of bastard does something like that?” Lombard said, arms crossed over his chest. “Should we have a talk with him?”
“I already offered and he turned me down.” Merle said. “He is far too kind and gentle to let anything happen to someone so horrible.”
“I’m okay, I actually had a good day today”
“Your sister said it looked like you had cried all night”
“Maybe I did but things are going to be okay. I’d really rather talk about other things, I just don’t even want to think about Anthony any longer” Fatima hugged him again “thats understandable honey. Just know the offer stands. Well teach that little punk not to be so cruel if you let us” Wolfric almost felt like crying again but not for sadness this time. He had such a supportive and loving family, what the hell did he need with Anthony anyway. He was immortal and even if he couldn’t trust his judgement right now he knew he’d find someone eventually.
It was nice getting to relax in his sister home and spend time with everyone. Merle made sure to take the spot next to him, something that had Fatima and Lombard looking at each other and Burkhart giving his friend a knowing look. “So, what all did you guys do today?” Burkhart had to ask.
“We took Merle to that Wicca store.”
“They had a very interesting collection of stones and minerals.” Merle added.
“He bought me this really pretty piece of…what did you call it?”
“It’s such a pretty shade of green.”
“You don’t often buy gifts for people.” Burkhart replied, a smile tugging at his lips.
“He liked it and it made him happy.”
“Thank you for taking his mind off of everything.” Fatima said, hoping this meant what she thought it meant. Like her daughter she wanted to play matchmaker.
“It was nothing, I truly wish I would have met him sooner”
“I’ve been inviting you down for some time, ever since Celestia agreed to be with me”
“well since I’ve been neglecting you for so long I think you’ll be stuck with me for awhile. I plan to stick around”
“Oh really?” Burkhart said with a teasing grin. Merle shot him a glare, wanting him to stop before Wolfric caught on. He wanted to do this right, he finally found his mate and he didn’t want to screw it up by him realizing too fast. “the guest room is yours for as long as you need it” Celestia assured him, glad to hear he would stay close, especially since that told her he definitely liked Wolfric. What other reason would he suddenly want to make this visit a long term thing? Up until just now it was supposed to just be a few more days.
The rest of the day was spent visiting with his family, each moment making him feel more and more happy. He helped his sister make dinner, his heart dancing when Merle followed him into the kitchen. Merle helped him chop vegetables for salad, standing as close to Wolfric as he could without interfering with his movement. They stood there in silence, just enjoying each others company. It was almost like the previous day had been nothing but a horrible dream. He found himself standing on the balcony that night, too restless to go to sleep. His mind was on Merle, on how kind and gentle he was, how at ease he made him feel.
“Can’t sleep?” Merle’s voice startled him and it took him a moment to realize the wolf was sitting on the roof of the house. “Sorry, did I scare you?”
“A little.” Merle smiled and Wolfric blushed.
“Want to come up?”
Merle leaned forward, holding out his hands and Wolfric took them, amazed at how strong he was as Merle pulled him up. He felt himself warm at the brief moment he was pressed against Merle and he couldn’t look at him as he was deposited on the roof next to him. “It’s beautiful isn’t it?”
“Oh, yeah. So what are you doing up still?”
“Sometimes the wolf wants to be outside. The smells, the night, it loves it. Sometimes I get the urge for a late night run, you should come some time, it can be quite exhilarating.”
“Okay, um..do you want my cellphone number? That way you can call if you want to run or…just if you want to talk” Merles wolf perked up inside him, happily yipping and wagging its tail. He may have been in human form so Wolfric couldn’t see but glancing at his face for the moment his nervousness would allow he could see how happy that made Merle in his eyes. “I don’t have my phone on me and I don’t have a particularly amazing memory so please, give it to me in the morning” Merle knew Wolfric was a supernatural creature as well but he still worried all the same about leaving him alone on the rooftop. Instead of risking something happening and his mate getting hurt Merle just wanted to stay at his side.
“Remind me before breakfast. I have an early appointment tomorrow so I might end up rushing out” His previously excited wolf whined. He didn’t want Wolfric leaving him for work but he didn’t even know they were fated mates yet. It would sound ridiculous to insist he not go, besides, he knew the Ross family were people of their word. Wolfric had made an appointment with somebody and he would keep it, even if they were together already. He wondered if his adorable little vampire would keep working once they were together. He assumed he probably would. His parents had plenty of money for him to do as he pleased so he was working because he wanted to.
“How busy are you at your practice?”
“Not very, I could be busier honestly but I like to keep a lot of my time for my family so I only book so many a week. My practice is by appointment only so I don’t have to just sit there all day. My staff are all on salary so they make the same no matter how often I have them come in. My receptionist is the only one who works all the time but she can forward the office number to her phone if she doesn’t want to be there and I have no appointments’
“It means we can spend more time together.” Wolfric blushed and he took his hand, lacing their fingers. “You want to spend more time with me don’t you?”
“Y…yes, of course.” Wolfric didn’t honestly think he could say no even if he wanted to. Merle drew him in so easily, his eyes and voice, his every action were like a powerful magnet. “I’m actually really happy you’re staying for awhile.”
Merle smiled. “Me too.” He wrapped his arms around Wolfric, hugging him close and was happy when Wolfric returned the embrace. He could feel his blush and stopped himself from laughing, not wanting to make his embarrassment worse. He loved how shy he could be. “Alright, you should get to bed.”
“What about you?”
“I’ll sleep too.” He released him and hopped down onto the balcony then held his arms up. “Come on.”
Wolfric jumped down into his arms and blushed again when Merle didn’t put him down. He just flashed a charming smile down at him and carried Wolfric to his bed. “Will you go ahead and put my number in your phone now that we’re in here to make sure we don’t forget” Merle knew he wouldn’t forget, he just didn’t want Wolfric to. “of course” Wolfric answered nervously then grabbed his phone off the dresser to type in the number Merle rattled off. Merle walked out though he longed to stay and hold his mate through the night. Merle paused in surprise when he walked into his room and saw his phone was lit up. He hoped it was what he thought and Wolfric had already sent him a text.
Merle felt utterly happy as he saved the number and actually took his phone to bed. It was just a simple goodnight but he had been wanting to find his mate a long time. A deep yearning had settled in him years ago and he realized that was right around the time Burkhart and Celestia got together. His wolf had known he was just a visit to his friend away from having his life partner and he had been too dumb to listen to it, had been fighting a deep sadness in his heart for truly no reason. It felt so good to be this close to having Wolfric.
Merle dozed off with Wolf encompassing his mind and woke to Burkhart teasing him “why are you holding your phone even in your sleep?”
“where is Wolfric?”
“still sleeping, he’s your mate isn’t he?”
“yes, I was holding my phone because we exchanged numbers and he texted me”
“Normally you’re more direct. Are you holding back a little because of Anthony?” Merle growled “yes”
“I’m happy you came, Wolfric deserves someone who would treat him like you would and I am not bullshitting you part of why I’ve been inviting you over is because he started spenidng more time with me after his sister and I started dating and something told me he’d be perfect for you. Even if he didn’t end up being your mate I thought you two would hit it off”
“why didn’t you tell me that…my mate has been right here…it’s so frustrating. I wouldn’t have to hold myself back atall if” he couldn’t talk about Anthony again or he might run off and rip the mans throat out. “Because you’ve never taken well to people trying to set you up. I figured it would make you less likely to come see me” Merle sighed “I suppose you’re right. You do think he likes me though right?” Burkhart laughed “you? Not full to the brim with confidence? Wow”
“don’t make me punch you” Chuckling Burkhart answered “we all think he does. His sister is so excited”
“I’d like to talk to her before Wolfric wakes up or after he leaves”
“she’s cooking right now but I know she’ll help you out on what to do about Wolfric after he goes to work. Anyway, Celestia sent me in here to let you know you can wake her brother up. He uses his actual clock at home as an alarm clock instead of his cellphone so nothing but a living, breathing alarm clock is going to wake him. She figured you might want that job”
“He wont be late if I shower and make myself look a bit nicer first right?” He could tell Burkhart was suppressing more laughter and glared. “sorry, I’ve just known you for so long and I’ve never seen you like this. It’s funny since you’re always so cool, calm, the definition of confidence but little Wolfric has you nervous and unsure. He’s a sweet man Merle, he isn’t that scary though I get where you’re coming from. Get ready, just don’t take too long” Burkhart made his exit and Merle quickly got out of bed to shower and make himself look nice for Wolfric. Merle did his best not to take too long in the shower or primping afterwards. He guessed he hadnt taken too long since nobody else had disturbed his sleeping zombie vampire.
He hadn’t walked in yet but he could tell Wolfric was still resting peacefully by his rhythmic breaths. Just that had his heart warming as Merle gently pushed open the door. Merle approached the bed, feeling almost breathless looking at how cute Wolfric looked when he was sleeping. He wanted to admire him but he doubted Wolfric would be comfortable if he woke to see him staring at him.
He sat down on the edge of the bed and gently stroked Wolfric’s cheek. He let out a little groan and pressed his face into the blankets. “Wolfric, it’s time to get up.” Wolfric let out another groan, his eyes fluttering open and blinking up at Merle. “Good morning.” Wolfric’s eyes widened as realization dawned and his heart stuttered in his chest, a blush tinting his cheeks. He sat up, holding the blankets tightly against him.
“Wh…what are you doing in here?”
Merle chuckled. “I was told it would be alright to wake you for work. Is that okay?”
Wolfric nodded. “Yes, sorry, of course it is. I was just surprised.”
“And embarrassed.” Merle had to tease him a little.
“You would be too if you suddenly woke up to…well to you.”
“Oh? What about me?”
“Nothing, just um thank you.”
Merle hugged him, needing the contact with his mate “I’ll see you at breakfast” Merle reluctantly let go after a brief hug, giving Wolfric the room to get ready. When Merle went downstairs Celestia said “His car isn’t here. Do you want to drive him to work? You’ll need to offer or he’ll just call an uber or something”
“thanks for the heads up. Did your husband speak to you by chance?”
“about you wanting some tips on my brother? Yes. That’s why I’m quickly filling you in on how to get more time with him. Burkhart has only ever told me good things about you and I can tell you’re interested…after seeing what Anthony did to him I just really want to help steer him in a good direction”
“How long do dentist appointments normally take? Will he be gone a long time?”
“it depends on what he’s doing for the patient today. I can ask him over breakfast”
Wolfric’s heart nearly jumped out of his chest when he came downstairs and Merle’s gaze immediately fell on him. His skin warmed and he felt relieved his skin was still pink from the heat of the shower. “You look very professional.” Merle said, smiling at him.
“Well, I am a dentist.”
“Oh, I don’t really like them. My mom could never get me to keep one on so she just stopped trying.”
“You look good, tie or not.”
Merle took his hand and pulled him. “Your sister made breakfast, let’s eat and then I’ll take you to work.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
“But I want to, so please let me.”
“Okay” When breakfast was ready and everyone was sitting Celestia didn’t waste much time asking “so what’s the appointment for this morning?”
“This is the first time I’ll be seeing this person. She’s twenty seven and apparently has never been to the dentist before. So basically I’ll clean her teeth then I’ll determine if she needs any work.”
“so you don’t really know”
“Nope, it depends on how well she’s taken care of her teeth on her own and if she wants to start any work today. I didn’t schedule anybody else because mom and dad were getting home yesterday and I knew they’d kick my butt since they always like to go out and do something after they’ve been working for awhile”
“good” Wolfric ate quickly then thanked his sister before leaving with Merle. After dropping Wolfric off Merle hurried back to his friends house to talk to Celestia. He could see the small signs of growing attration in Wolfric but he needed to know what to do to fully win him over. Celestia filled him in on all of Wolfrics likes and dislikes, the shows he watched, the things he liked to eat, the places he seemed to go the most, who his good friends were, and all else she could think of. Wolfric still wasn’t home when they were done talking so Merle just went to the room they had given him to think of what he could do to express how much he cared about Wolfric
Wolfric examined the woman’s x-rays as he pointed out to her where she had cavities. She didn’t have many, but he was glad she had come when she did. He told her he could fill them now or she could schedule another appointment and she went ahead and opted for then, wanting it done so she wouldn’t have to worry about it. He and his assistant got everything prepped and he smiled at her when he saw how nervous she was. “It’s won’t hurt, I promise. I’ll numb you up and it’ll just feel like I’m pressing really hard on your teeth.” She gave a slight nod and he got to work. He kept the conversation light and casual, wanting her to feel secure even though he knew she couldn’t answer and they were both happy when it seemed to pass in a flash. He lifted her up, let her rinse out her mouth then asked if everything felt okay. She just nodded since her mouth was numb. He let his assistant take it from there and he went to check and see if he had anything else to do. He realized as he was getting ready to leave that he didn’t have his car. Work had made him forget and he pulled out his phone and called Wolfric, feeling a blush tint his cheeks before he even answered.
“Could you come and pick me up? I forgot I don’t have my car.”
“I only just dropped you off this morning.” His tone was light, teasing and it sent a wave of embarrassment through Wolfric.
“Of course, give me a few minutes.”
“Thank you, I owe you.”
“Nonsense, it makes me happy to help you.” He hung up and it took Wolfric a minute to feel how hard his heart was beating. Not even Anthony had had that effect on him.
Wolfric actually felt excited as he waited for Merle and he felt another jolt of joy when he saw his car pull in. Once he was in the passenger seat Merle said “I’ll take you to your place. I actually have dinner planned if that’s alright”
“my parents don’t want to see me?”
“they’ve got another case to go over” it wasn’t a lie but they were only doing it as an excuse for Merle and Wolfric to be alone. “Oh, okay..um…it must be pretty important”
“I think so, you don;t mind being alone with me right?” Did Merle sound faintly hurt? Wolfric almost laughed at himself, there he went again thinking he meant more to someone that he actually did. “It’s not that, it’s just weird but I like you alot. So I’m glad you’re hanging out with me”
“there’s nobody here I’d rather be around” Merle said, deciding to just be truthful. It just wasn’t in his nature to hide things. He was holding himself back as best he could but there was only so much control he had over his mouth. Wolfric blushed, his heart going off rhythm again. When they pulled up to the house Wolfric asked is there anything specific you want to do this evening?”
“I already have some stuff planned if that’s alright with you”
“You’re my guest, I’m ready for anything you want to do”
Merle chuckled. “Saying things like that are liable to get you in trouble someday.”
Wolfric didn’t have time to ask him what he meant since Merle was already out of the car and waiting patiently for him to follow. He got out quickly, fishing his keys out of his pocket so he could let them in. He could feel Merle standing close behind him and his hand shook, making him fight to get the key in the lock. Relief flooded through him when he was finally able to get the door open and he stepped inside. “So, is there anything you need help with?”
“I prefer you just relax.”
“Okay, I’ll go get changed then.” Merle smiled and Wolfric gave a nervous one in return. “I’ll just be a minute.”
“Go on then, but there’s no rush. I’m not going anywhere.”
Wolfric couldn’t believe how quickly he went to his room, his entire body red from head to toe. He told himself he needed to calm down, that he shouldn’t get ahead of himself. He changed into a pair of comfortable jeans and an old t-shirt then took a couple of deep breaths before leaving his room. Merle was standing in the living room looking at some pictures on the wall, a smile on his lips. “F…find something interesting?”
Merle’s eyes moved to his face. “Just you.” He pointed to one of the pictures. “I see that your dislike of violence has nothing to do with you and your siblings pummeling each other with foam swords.” Wolfric moved to stand next to him. looking at the picture in question.
“I mean I might not like it, but mom and dad insisted I know how to defend myself. They thought if they made it into a game for me then it would be better. Play killing Finn is hard, he’s so much faster than me.”
“You look adorable.”
“So, you said you had plans?”
Merle chuckled happily “well I hear you like board games. Go look at your kitchen table” Wolfric walked to his kitchen with Merle close behind, hurrying to the side of him so he could see Wolfrics face. His table was covered in board games stacked on top of eachother “your sister told me and then your parents let me in here so we could look at what you already had. “You…did you buy all this?”
“yes, I wanted it to be a fun evening. These are all yours to keep, honestly I’ve never had interest in the things but I’m willing to try, especially if it means I can have what remains of the day with you. I’d like it if we could play Furt first”
“Furt?” Merle grabbed it from the pile, handing it to Wolfric who began reading the back. It was a silly game, one he had chosen to get Wolfric comfortable with him. They would apparently have to do incredibly silly and hilarious things and he couldn’t think of anything better to coax Wolfric into being comfortable with him. He;d have to get over any nervousness this way. “sure, thank you so much, really” Wolfric wanted to hug him but he wasn’t sure how much contact Merle was okay with. Tonight was going to be amazing as long as he didn’t do anything stupid and make his brother in laws friend uncomfortable.
They opened it in the kitchen to throw all the trash away then brought the box in the living room, Merle waiting patiently for Wolfric to set it up. He figured it was best to let the one with experience in these things do the setting up. Wolfric blushed a ton from the start but they were laughing only a few moves in, thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Wolfric felt more and more at ease with every second he spent with Merle, he was so warm and understanding, doing everything in his power to keep him smiling. Wolfric’s abs were sore from all the laughing and he wiped away the tears that had formed in his eyes as he caught his breath. “Who knew someone so…you know so like you could be so goofy.”
“Yeah, so you know, elegant I guess, so put together.”
Merle grinned. “You will learn that wolves don’t tend to worry about looking goofy. You should see some of us when we are learning to shift. Fortunately I inherited that gift and I was quite clumsy at first. You learn that looking silly is part of life.” He chuckled. “Though I do enjoy seeing you blush when you have to something particularly embarrassing. The faces you make are quite cute.”
“could I see you shift sometime?”
“of course, I mean, I’ll be my wolf when we run together. Maybe we could go on a run tonight or in the morning, depending on how our day goes.”
“Okay” they finished up that game then Wolfric ran back to the kitchen, excited and less embarrassed to just let himself go. He couldn’t believe Merle had bought all these games for him and he wanted to try as many as possible today. While the other game had accomplished what Merle wanted he was glad this game left more room for them to talk. He had never learned so much about one person so quickly but this was his mate, Merle felt like he couldn’t learn about him quick enough. They had so much fun that evening they never ran but the next morning they drove over to the perfect nature park.
“I strip before I shift. I just wanted to warn you”
“I know, we’re far enough in here that nobody will see” Wolfric honestly tried his best not to stare but once his shirt was off it was impossible not too. He actually struggled to catch a breath at first which he hoped Merle hadn’t noticed. Wolfric was almost surprised at the intense attraction he felt. He already knew he was attracted to them but this was intense, something different, more than lust though he knew that was a lot of what he was feeling. “You ready?” Merle asked with a grin. He liked that his mate found him so appealing. Wolfric hadn’t said anything but Merle could see it in his eyes and could sense it. “ye…yeah” Merle shifted and took off, Wolfric catching up easily so they could run beside eachother.
Wolfric glanced at the large wolf as they ran, amazed at how big he really was. When he had said giant, he had meant it, the animals back came to the top of his ribs. He found himself wanting to bury his face and fingers in his fur to experience its softness and warmth. He blushed, looking away and picking up the pace. Merle let out a little bark, staying right next to him, never pulling ahead. It felt good to run with his mate, the feel of the earth beneath his paws, each smell gaining new meaning now that he was sharing with Wolfric. It stirred that wildness in him, that need that the wolf urged him to give into. Merle reprimanded the beast, wanting to be patient. He could hear and smell how the little half vampire felt, the way his heart danced or jumped, the scent of his excitement and even his desire.
Neither of them knew how long they ran, only that they needed to stop and catch their breath, Wolfric flopping down in the grass and Merle dropping down next to him and resting his head on his lap. Wolfric laughed, taking the chance to let his fingers run through his fur. “Look at you, like a puppy.” Merle wagged his tail and looked up at him, giving him puppy dog eyes. “Oh stop.” He stroked Merle’s head. “You’re so far from a puppy it’s not even funny.” Merle huffed, making him laugh again and loving the sound.
Wolfric continued to rub and scratch Merle, seeing the wold enjoyed it. His fur felt so amazing and sitting here like this, with his head in his lap felt really nice. Wolfric wasn’t sure how he got so caught up that he kissed Merles head absentmindedly but the second his lips connected with the fur he was back in reality. He got up quickly “I’m sorry, oh my god I’m sorry. I just..I don’t know I’m sorry” Wolfric was almost panicky so Merle shifted, knowing he would be nude but he needed to be able to speak to him, to tell him it was okay. His mate had kissed him, that was more than alright. Wolfric didn’t know why he was such a colossal fuck up. All he could think was there went another good friendship.
“Wolfric, it’s okay. I like it, don’t be so upset. You didn’t do anything bad..I really liked it until you jumped up”
“You liked it?” Merle felt this was the time for the truth. The truth was really the only way he could explain that being so welcome with him. “You know how I talked to you about wolves knowing their mate when they see them? You’re my mate, I was trying to be patient and give you time to heal from Anthony but you kissing me is something I want badly. You can kiss and touch me all you want…It’s okay if you aren’t ready to be with me but there’s nothing affectionate wise you can do to upset me Wolfric. Us not touching is what makes me uncomfortable but like I said, I can handle that until you’re ready”
“You? Really? I’m….I’m your mate”
“Yes, I love you Wolfric. You kissing my head just now truly felt amazing. Just you petting me had been an amazing feeling” Calm but blushing Wolfric said “I’d…I’d really like to be your mate..you’re amazing and to be honest. I have been feeling things for you I haven’t for anybody else, not even Anthony…” Merle sighed with relief, closing the distance between them and hugging his mate.
“May I kiss you, Wolfric?”
Wolfric just nodded and Merle pulled back enough to look into his eyes, wanting him to say it. “Y…yes.”
Merle smiled as he pressed their lips together. It was the softest of touches, but it still sent a jolt through Wolfric’s body, heating every nerve ending and causing his heart to skip a beat. Merle’s arms tightened around him, deepening the kiss when Wolfric didn’t pull away, his tongue sliding along the seam of his lips, asking for entrance until Wolfric opened up to him. Excitement danced through him and he pulled back, knowing if he wasn’t careful, he would have Wolfric out of his clothes here in the park. “Merle? Is everything alright?”
“Perfect my love, I’m just getting a little excited and I don’t want to do something you hate.”
Wolfric’s entire body warmed. “Um…we should get back right?”
“I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable.”
“No, just, it’s the park and…and I’m not exactly…I mean it’s…”
Merle grinned. “So pure, how cute.” He gave him another quick kiss. “Let’s go back.”
They held hands as they returned to Merle’s clothes which he quickly put on before sweeping Wolfric off his feet “I was afraid I’d make you too nervous or do something bad if I held you while I was naked” Wolfric began blushing again, causing Merle to chuckle. He kissed Wolfrics head then carried him to the car, setting him down in the passenger seat before driving them back to Wolfrics place. Wolfric almost couldn’t believe what happened at the park actually occurred but everytime he looked over at Merle he seemed so abundantly happy. That in itself was hard to believe, that he could make another man as happy as Merle was by simply agreeing to be with him.
Once inside Merle pulled Wolfric down on the couch with him “I want to hold you, I’ve been wanting to press you against me since the moment I saw you come into this room” Wolfrics heart was doing flips again and when he actually listened to Merles, his was doing the same. Merle held him so tight, yet so lovingly, sending a cascade of different feelings through Wolfric. He felt so safe, so happy and most of all he felt incredibly loved already even though they had only just begun their relationship. Something inside Wolfric was also telling him this was the man he was supposed to be with forever.
Stroking his hair Merle whispered affectionately “I love you Wolfric” tears nearly welled in his eyes at how tender his voice was. He answered back “I love you too’
“You’re stuck with me forever now, you know that right?” Merle said then placed a jovial kiss on his head. “stop trying to make me cry, you’re close” Merle let go to take Wolfrics face and make him look in his eyes “I’m just trying to make you understand what being my mate is and how I feel. I will ardently love you, I will generously take care of you, when we make love I will wrap you in so much passion that wonderful little mind of yours will be absolutely blown, I will be jealous and maybe too much at times but I love you passionately Wolfric and nothing or anybody else will ever replace you in my heart. You’re mine and I’m yours, forever”
Tears came unbidden to Wolfric’s eyes, clinging to his lashes and making his eyes shine an even brighter shade of aquamarine. “I love you so much.”
Merle couldn’t help the smile that pulled at his lips nor could he keep himself from pulling Wolfric down to kiss him. He felt so complete knowing that he had found his other half and he couldn’t help but indulge. His fingers slid into Wolfric’s hair and tugged gently as his lips moved down across his neck and to his shoulder. Teeth met skin, biting down gently even though he craved to leave his mark. “Mine.” He whispered against his shoulder, letting his lips press there. “You’re all mine and no one else’s.”
“Don’t ever let me set eyes on that other man.”
“I mean it.” He nibbled at Wolfric’s skin, making him shiver. “I’ll make him regret every word. No one is allowed to insult my mate.”
Merle kept Wolfric to himself as long as he could but eventually his family did come around to see how they were doing. They were all elated to hear the news and immedietly started asking the questions they hadn’t thought of yet like where they were going to live, if they were going to have a wedding ceremony which Fatima seemed to be pushing for, she wanted to watch all her babies have a beautiful wedding but she’d understand if Wolfric and Merle didn’t end up wanting that. They answered what they could but right now they were just enjoying the start of something that made them both amazingly happy, those little details could all come later.
~ The End