Of Fire and Fangs 02 – Epilogue


Here’s the final part + the epilogue. It turned out much more romantic than I had originally intended, which is out of my comfort zone, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing this. Enjoy, or if you hate it, send me hate mail!

Part Four

The night air is still warm from the leftover heat of the sun. The crickets chirp around us as we doze, not quite sleeping, but not really awake. It felt like a dream. Like some kind of miraculous phenomenon as we lay under the stars, their dazzling light dimmed by the canopy of tree branches. Our skin still hums with the remnants of our pleasure, our energy almost sizzling where we touch.

Oslo’s fingers are unhurried now, the tips gently swirling over my exposed skin in made up patterns. His eyes lazily follow his movements, never looking bored where they travel. I can understand his amazement. My eyes can’t seem to get enough of him, either. It was like after all these years, our bodies were trying to make up for the time lost. For all those times we couldn’t see, couldn’t touch, and couldn’t taste. Finally, it all was ours for the taking, at last.

“Did I ever tell you how beautiful you are?” Oslo’s question stirs me from the inner thoughts, his voice raspy from our lovemaking. “I’ve always loved your freckles. They look like little sprinkles of cinnamon.” His intense gaze moves from where they were watching his dancing fingertips and to my face, drinking in my reaction. Despite all that we have been through, I still flush in embarrassment at his words. He thought I was beautiful? I have to work to hide my smile.

“There’s a lot of things you haven’t told me,” I respond sarcastically, quirking my brow at him with a smirk. I wasn’t unaware that we had a lot to talk about still. It was just that none of it seemed quite as important now. There was no more hurry. We had ended up where we needed to be, regardless of what turmoil lied before it.

“Yes, and I remember trying to tell you a lot of things, but someone wasn’t interested in talking.” Oslo’s smile is devilish as he playfully nips my shoulder, making me laugh. It was true. I hadn’t been in the mood for talking earlier. But for now our hungry monsters have been satiated, relinquishing their control to our starved minds. It was time to indulge our curiosities.

“Can you blame me? You show up after years of hoping, looking like some kind of handsome devil, and suddenly act interested in me? Nope, I wasn’t passing up the chance,” I return with a small laugh. I had meant it as a joke, but Oslo’s face saddens at my words. There was truth to it, obviously, but I hadn’t said it to hurt him. Frowning, I stroke his serious face apologetically, his pain my own.

“You think I wasn’t interested in you before?” His voice is incredulous, his brow furrowing in disbelief. Feeling put on the spot, my hand stills its caressing. Hadn’t he been the one to run away?

“Well, I mean, interested in me as a friend, right?” I say unsure, trying to find the words to describe what it had been like all those years ago. It had always felt like I had been the one swooning after him, with him reliably failing to notice, always seemingly unaffected by it. It had been my reality, though a painful one.

“By the Gods, Benji, no.” He groans in exasperation, closing his eyes as he turns away from me. Lying flat on his back, his eyes open to stare up at the night sky. Swallowing thickly, he glances at me briefly before looking back up. The short eye contact was enough to give me a glimpse of his own demons from our shared past. The darkness of them is familiar, the pain achingly recognizable. He sighs. “I was madly in love with you. Still am. I have been since we were small. I had no idea that you might have felt the same until that evening in the hall.” His voice is quiet in his admission, sounding every bit the scared boy he had been. That we both have been.

My heart throbs wildly at his words, my shock more than apparent. All this time, I had no idea. His eyes avoid me, those mesmerizing orbs darting away from me like a caged animal, fearful and timid. I have never seen him so vulnerable, so raw. I doubted anyone had, which makes this moment all the more special. Oslo had given me his body during our mating, but now he was giving me the part of himself he had always kept hidden so well. My chest constricts painfully at the task, a painful promise to always be there and kind to him. My mate. My world. The need to protect him while in this state is foreign yet powerful. He was mine now. Mine to protect. Mine to love. Mine. I had known it when we were young, but now it was finally clear.

It had been excruciating, tormenting myself, trying to figure out what Oslo was thinking or feeling. Always thinking that I had read too far into things, and the shame that had plagued me for thinking that way was wearing. The relief is nearly overwhelming, my feelings for him insurmountable. The man I had loved for so long, loved me in return. I was his. van escort His to protect. His to love. How had it taken so long for us to get here?

“Then why did you leave?” My voice is a whisper, one filled with the ache of the knowledge that things could have been so different. Less painful, less lonely, and less goddamn awful.

“Because it was the only way to keep you safe.” His answer is gentle as he leans back towards me, his seriousness only drawing more questions from me.

“Safe from what? The pack?” I question softly, not dull to the fact that same sex matings were strongly restricted amongst wolf packs. But it had been so long ago, what if things were changing?

“Safe from the pack, yes, but also safe from me.” I blink in confusion, despite his serious tone. “The pack would never have allowed it. And besides, you were so innocent, and too young. I wanted you to have a choice. If I had stuck around, I don’t know if I would have been able to control myself, to let you take things at your own pace.” His breath shudders, still hot against my skin. “The night I kissed you, I had lost control. I felt like I had taken advantage of you. It was awful, knowing that I held the power to hurt you. I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if that happened.”

Oslo looked so broken in this moment, so raw. His pain was my own, my own sadness and grief unrelenting at the pressure he put on himself, at the situation he was in. Framing his striking face with my hands, I wanted him to know how important what I said next was.

“Oslo, my Oslo. You could never hurt me. You think you were alone in your fears, but you weren’t. I was terrified that if you found out how I felt about you, that you would hate me. Or worse, want me dead.” I shiver at the thought, brushing my nose with his in my search for comfort. I pause, gulping slowly before continuing. “I thought you left because you couldn’t stand the sight of me after what I had done. I felt like a freak…” My voice dies off as I close my eyes, remembering the numbness that had taken over me at Oslo’s abandonment. It was so long ago, yet it was still so close.

“Oh Benj,” Oslo breathes sharply, his arms wrapping around my body like a safety blanket, cocooning me within his protection. “You are not to blame. The only thing I couldn’t stand was what could have happened to you if I had stayed.” His fingers gently rub along my spine, doing their best to soothe my sorrow.

“We could have tried to appeal to the Alpha. I mean, surely he would be able to recognize a mating pull, even if it were between two boys.” I was aware that I was nearly blubbering, but only distantly. It wasn’t fair. Why did we have to suffer for a bond that we had no control over?

“No.” Oslo’s voice is firm and intense, making me flinch at the sudden change. Feeling me jump, his hand comes up to stroke my jaw, easing my tension. “No,” he begins, softer this time. “It would have been a death wish.” My mate’s soothing touch does nothing to alleviate the surprise and confusion of his last statement. Before I can vocalize my shock, Oslo is quick to continue. “My mother had told me what had happened to the two men that had tried creating a mating bond years ago, when we were just little pups.” Oslo’s gaze meets mine, the intensity burning there making me swallow nervously. “Benj, the Alpha had them killed. Not exiled, not reprimanded, but killed.” My heart thuds loudly as the iciness of understanding floods me. We had been in danger, without even realizing it. Hell, we probably still were. “She had told me as a warning. She did not want our fate to be the same.”

“She knew?” I ask, shaken. Oslo’s mother had always been a nurturing mentor to me, even after Oslo’s departure. She had always made me feel like I had belonged in her family, never looking down upon my decisions (or lack thereof) like my own mother often did.

“Of course she did. I told her everything,” Oslo says simply, his eyes softening at the mention of his mother. When Oslo had left, I wasn’t the only one that he had left behind. He had also left behind his parents and his three siblings. I often had imagined how they had bared with his absence, and how Oslo had dealt assimilating into a pack with no one beside him and nothing familiar. It was something that I longed to ask him about, but for now, we had to take this one stride at a time.

“You told her!” I sit up in my astonishment, my mouth nearly gaping at my mate’s casual tone. He means that he had told her everything, and she still continued as if everything were normal for all these years? Still treating me like one of her own, looking out for me even on my darkest days. My affection for the woman grows at the revelation, a fondness that is unfamiliar and alien compared to other feelings regarding family.

“Yes,” Oslo begins with a chuckle, his eyes slowly trailing over my exposed upper body, taking in the marks from our scuffle that I’m sure are there. “In fact, she was the yalova escort one who advised I move away to Teton to focus on my training.” My eyes narrow at his words, suddenly feeling betrayed by the same woman I had just grown fonder of only seconds ago.

“What the hell? That was an awful idea!” Oslo rises next to me at my incredulous tone, his smile becoming patient.

“It was brilliant,” he challenges me gently, picking a leaf out of the tangles in my hair. “I mean, it was torture, but it was the only plan we could come up with that would allow for us to be mated in the long run.” Oslo’s bright blues become more serious as he leans in closer, his heat radiating off of him wonderfully. “I needed to put some distance between us, keep you safe, and focus on my training so that I could rise in the rankings. When I became strong enough, I could petition to become-” I cut him off as it finally clicks.

“An alpha.” Oslo smiles brightly as I finish his sentence, putting the pieces together for myself. It made sense, despite how stretched the idea was. An alpha had the ability to dictate how their pack was ran, meaning that if they were able to allow same sex matings, that they also would be able to take a mate of the same gender for themselves. Of course, it had never been done before, but leave it to Oslo to go where no wolf has gone before. “What even made you so sure that you would be able to become an alpha?” My eyebrows raise in jest, a smirk on my lips as I tease him.

“I forgot how much of a brat you are,” Oslo growls, pushing me down so that I lay flat on my back with a wicked grin. Of course he had always been on the path to becoming an alpha. Everyone had known. Not only had he been quick and strong, he was also extremely intelligent and great at strategizing. He was born to be a leader, born to make a change.

My sigh comes out as a hushed moan as my mate playful nips at the edge of my jaw, his teeth sharp but gentle. My chest fills with a heat that I was beginning to become familiar with, relating it to my adoration for Oslo, my love. Overwhelmed with the emotion, I frame his beautiful face with my hands, tugging him up towards my hungry mouth. His lips sear mine as they meet, their caress powerful yet slow in their deliberation. Quelling my greed, we pull apart slowly. His hands rub up and down my sides, making me squirm.

“We are safe now?” My voice is husky from our kiss. Opening my eyes languidly, I meet his glowing azure orbs. Underneath of him here, I felt protected and safe from the world. From its cruelty and neglect. But what was to happen when we rose and set off back into reality, now as a mated couple?

“We are safe, and I promise to always keep you safe, my love.” His whisper is low but passionate, his promise shining brightly through his gaze and into mine. I trusted him with my whole being. He would keep his promise. For the first time ever, I felt like I was where I truly belonged, and it was only the beginning.

“Take me home, Os.” As comfortable as the plush soil beneath of us was, I was craving to be snuggled underneath layers of blankets with my mate, in his bed. In our bed. The thought was exhilarating.

It was time to go home.

Part Five – Epilogue

I close the door behind me quietly, careful to not cause too much noise. The moon had risen hours ago, and I was sure that Oslo would be in bed fast asleep by now. Tip-toeing through the dark house, I make my way towards the bedroom. The door is ajar, and it makes a slight squeak as I push it open further. In the dark, I can just make out my mate’s form on the bed, just a shadowy lump underneath of the blankets. I can hear his even breathing as I enter the room, confirming my suspicions of his state of awakeness.

I take a moment to stare at his form, my eyes adjusting to the darkness, seeing him more clearly. In the balmy glow of the day, Oslo was stunning. All caramel, tanned skin and chocolate locks absorbing the sunlight and reflecting it back like a dazzling display of a God. Those bright sapphire eyes keen and striking, ever so intent on reading the details of my emotions, always intense in their awareness and burning in their intention. He never failed to make me pause to admire him, for he often stole the very breath from my lungs. In the dark ours of the night, he was no less remarkable. Gone was the sharpness of his gaze, replaced instead with a softness that was reserved only for my own eyes. The intimidating expression he so often wore had melted into one of pure relaxation, softening his features and making him look absolutely adorable. I have to bite my lip to contain my smile, the sudden overwhelming rush of the love I have for the man threatening to split my face in two.

My shirt is thrown into the hamper before my stained pants join it, my bare feet stepping lightly on the wooden floorboards to keep them from creaking too loudly. Though I am tender as I crawl into bed next yozgat escort to him, I can’t help the selfish feeling that hopes to wake the beautiful sleeping man in our bed. As Alphas of the Credence Pack, a forever blossoming and mounting community, we were lucky to be in each other’s company for only moments of each day. It was harrowing work, but profusely rewarding in the way we could provide and protect for the many important lives of lupus. I couldn’t have imagined how my responsibilities as a pack leader would have helped shape the man I’ve become at Oslo’s side. The acceptance and joyous welcome I received had made me kinder, softer. I suddenly had a patience that I was not familiar with, suddenly had a growing need to connect with the people by my side in the most altruistic way. It had become clear within only a few short weeks of being accepted as Oslo’s equal within the pack, that I would have never been able to live the life I had tried to force myself into before him. It was no wonder that none of it had ever felt quite right. I was never meant to become a beta for a pack that had none of the same values as I, nor would allow for me to mate the one I was truly destined to be with.

I had not known true happiness before this journey. Now that I knew what it was like, I was thirsty for more.

I am cautious as I burrow underneath the cover beside my lover, gently nuzzling the nape of his neck, inhaling as much of his scent as I can in one breath. It was wild how much you can miss someone that you see every day, never feeling like the time spent was ever enough. My caress is soft as I slowly lay my arm over the warm skin of his side, snuggling into his body from behind. The closeness of him would never cease to give me the greatest comfort.

I gasp when a hand suddenly closes over my wrist, taking me by surprise. My alarm dissolves into satisfaction as I realize that my mate is not asleep, excited at the ability to be able to talk to him after a long day. Talk, and do other things.

“Hm, did I wake you?” I ask, placing a tender kiss on the back of his neck.

“You’re fucking loud, but no,” he mumbles, turning around in my arms with a lazy smile on his handsome face. “Turns out I have a hard time sleeping without your loud ass snoring.” He nips the tip of my nose as I scoff, smirking at my annoyed expression.

“Mm, so sweet, babe. I miss you too.” I grumble in mock irritation, can’t helping my smile as Oslo places kisses on my chin, all while chuckling softly.

“I did miss you, more than you know.” I roll my eyes at the sweetness of his tone, downplaying just how much the words mean to me. I would have to remember to thank him later for putting up with my insensitive ass. “How did it go with the new kid? You were there for awhile.”

“Really well, you’ll like her,” I respond happily. Oslo’s eyes rest on mine as I continue, his interest genuine. “Her name is Kara, she’s in her seventeenth year. She travelled all the way from the Grantville Pack, where those assholes were threatening her into an arranged, abusive mating arrangement. She’s a little battered, but she is strong and she is here, safe and sound. You’ll get to meet her in the morning, after she’s had some rest.”

Oslo’s arms go around me, squeezing me tenderly, his expression fierce but remaining composed. “Fucking pricks. That’s the fifth runaway we’ve taken in from them. If they got their heads out of their asses then they would realize that their pack is their family, not a staging board.” His muscles flex as tension creeps into them, his passion matching my own.

“I know, which is why their structure is failing. The important thing is, is that they know our doors are open, and that this a safe place if they need to escape.” My fingers comb through his curls, smoothing the loose tangles and feeling their softness.

Our pack’s mission had always been to provide a safe environment for wolves that were in need of acceptance, just as we were. Not everyone was so lucky to have the fate we had, so we sought to change that. Within the past years, we had accumulated more and more members, a surprising amount of wolves looking for a secure place where they were allowed to be themselves. We were a pack of the future, a bright outlook on what the positive impact of acceptance will bring. As we thrived, many packs became failing as wolves began fleeing and fighting back for the rights that should have been theirs from birth. We eagerly met them in this fight, protecting and providing a powerful hand in their struggles. It was something that I was most proud to do in my life, and I was positive Oslo felt the same.

“I’m so proud of you, Benji. I couldn’t have done this without you.” His words are scorching, heavy with emotion. Instead of pulling away like I often did, I allow for their weight to settle on me. I knew I could be an asshole most of the time when it came to feelings, so I knew now was not the time to take the easy way out, and to let them wash over me fully. I flush with pleasure from his approval, his compliment sending a wave of pride through my soul. Oslo’s eyes greedily take in the looseness of my emotions, his own pride at causing my reaction making him catch his breath.

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