Callum was bored. Beyond bored. It was his last day until he was allowed to return to Haggard and he was itching to do something. He had drawn, read, cleaned up, and surfed the net. Grayson and Georgia had visited him on his first day of forced vacation and he was then sequestered into house arrest when Georgia found out it had been Ruth who had attacked him. He could have easily just left his apartment but Georgia was not someone you wanted to disobey. Especially when she was worried out of her mind.
Callum sighed and rolled over onto his stomach, pulling his pillow down to stuff under his chest for leverage, as he grabbed for his sketchbook. Grayson had brought him his stuff from Haggard when he visited and Callum was grateful that his two friends respected his privacy and didn’t peak at his drawings. He could only imagine what they would have had to say if they saw all the drawings of Mason.
Since seeing him shift, Callum had grown an obsession of sorts with drawing Mason in various stages of his transformation. Several pages of his sketchbook were filled with sketches upon sketches of the shifter. They started off innocently enough with arms, legs, and the occasional ear through several stages of a shift. Then the graphite turned into detailed lines of a muscular human torso, deep lines dipping down in a sharp V, fading off into the paper. Copies of Mason’s face followed, each line done with great detail and care. The lines of his eyes and lips were the darkest from Callum’s pencil going over them repeatedly, usually without him even knowing. And when he wasn’t drawing, his fingers were tracing the lines. There were slight smudges to indicate where exactly he had been touching, most focused again on the lips.
It was embarrassing to say the least.
Yet, he couldn’t stop himself.
Callum flipped open the pad and his most recent sketch of Mason’s face looked up at him. This drawing took up an entire page. Callum had worked on it most of the previous day but he couldn’t get the expression right. Really, he didn’t know what expression to pencil in. He had the shape of Mason’s face done as well as his hair, sticking up in every which direction, but the actual face was blank save for the light cross that divided it and faint marks of Callum having erased trial after trial. He just couldn’t figure out how to draw Mason’s face even though the previous couple pages were filled with it.
Callum closed the pad and put it to the side, grabbing for his laptop next. He checked comic updates but he had already caught up and he was in no mood to go hunting again. He was tempted to look up a TV show he had heard about that was eight episodes long and had aired over a duration of one month a little while back. It was a medieval, fairy tale themed comedy that involved lots of singing. And the main actor was really attractive.
But Callum didn’t like watching shows alone. He liked to have someone watch with him so that he could comment and discuss and complain with another person. Usually, that person was Grayson, but he was studying hard for his exams, and Callum knew Georgia wouldn’t be interested in the show. Musicals, no matter how funny and crude, weren’t her thing.
With a groan, Callum shut down his computer and rolled out of bed. He took a quick shower and got ready to leave under the pretense of grabbing groceries. If Georgia somehow found out he had left his apartment, he would have an excuse that was actually true. He was running low on food. So technically, he wouldn’t have been lying if he told her he had to buy some things.
Callum walked at a human pace to the grocery store. He was a bit paranoid, looking over his shoulder every once in a while, of someone attacking him out of the blue. While he had tried to play it off when he told Mason the vague details, Callum kept Justin out of his thoughts for a reason. He didn’t want to think about how exactly he might have killed his ex-boyfriend. His sire, the person who saved his life yet was nameless and faceless, had only told him that Justin and his friends were drained dry and Callum was free of any charges.
He remembered how guilty he felt those first few weeks. It came after the denial and disbelief. But when he saw his fangs in the mirror when he was beginning to get the cravings, he could no longer discount the changes he had felt and the note he had read repeatedly any longer.
It was a process of trial and error for a while. He had been too afraid to seek help and had Georgia not caught him puking his life away, Callum knew he wouldn’t have made it for so long. He would have never met Mason again.
Callum nearly stopped dead in his tracks as the thought ran through his mind, but a harsh yelp of irritation from someone behind him made him quickly keep his pace and pretend he never even had the aforementioned thought.
It worked until he was grabbing a box of cereal and heard his name being called.
After barely managing to not drop the box and instead place it into his basket, Callum turned his head and smiled weakly, “Mason, hey.”
Mason walked up the aisle until he was just in front of Callum. His eyes did a careful sweep of Callum’s whole body, clearly a scan for any sign of sickness or injury. It still didn’t fail to make Callum’s heart thump madly and blood rise to the surface of his skin.
“Hey, how are you?” Mason finally asked once he seemed to deem Callum physically all right.
“Uh, good I guess. Just really bored and restless.”
Mason quirked a brow, “Most people would love a week long holiday.”
Callum sighed, “Yeah, but Georgia put me on house arrest after she found out what happened and I feel bad because you’re still paying me even though I’m not working.”
“Paid leave is a thing, love, and I forced you on the vacation. And if you’re on house arrest, what are you doing here?”
Deciding not to argue about the vacation and pay, Callum replied, “I needed groceries and it was the only excuse I had to leave my apartment should Georgia ever find out that I did.”
“I’ll vouch for you,” Mason grinned.
Callum’s eyes were immediately drawn to the curve of Mason’s lips. In his mind’s eye, he was overlaying his drawings of those very lips and picking out all his mistakes. However, the longer he looked, the more the images disappeared and Callum was simply staring at the slightly chapped flesh he had felt on his lips a few times, yet never really paid attention to since he was either panicking or lost in the feeling of being kissed.
Callum blinked and looked up at Mason who was giving him an amused smirk.
“Are you okay?” the shifter asked. His eyes were laughing.
Callum blinked again and realized that he had been staring at Mason’s lips for lord knows how long. His face burned.
“Um, uh, yeah, I, uh, sorry.” His brain scrambled for a believable excuse that even he could pull off with his horrible lying skills. His gaze dropped to Mason’s neck and he blurted, “Sorry, I-I haven’t fed since, um, you, actually, and…”
He looked down and hoped fervently that Mason would take his stumbling for embarrassment (of which around 90% of it actually was) and not that he was mostly lying.
“Dr. Martinez had said you needed to feed more regularly,” Mason replied. When Callum looked up slightly, he saw that Mason was frowning in concern.
Callum tried to smile reassuringly, “I’ll feed tonight. I haven’t been to Nyte in a while either.” He could also feel the beginnings of a craving, although they were a bit stronger than usual. His fangs were harder to control and he had been waking up the past few days with them extended. He would have usually gone out and fed immediately but after Ruth’s appearance…
Mason’s frown deepened and Callum wasn’t sure what he had said to cause the look. While he hadn’t a clue as to what expression to draw for his unfinished portrait of Mason, he knew for certain he wasn’t going to draw the shifter frowning.
‘What?” Callum asked, a frown of his own pulling at his lips.
Mason looked to the side and grumped, “I don’t like the idea of you being with other men. Or women.”
It was only then that Callum remembered that he had told Mason how he fed and guilt crushed him. He had basically just told a man who claimed to love him to the ends of the earth and back that he was going to sleep with some stranger. Callum knew he wasn’t bound by anything to not have sex with someone else since he and Mason weren’t even together, but he still couldn’t help but feel like dirt.
“I’m sorry,” Callum started, but Mason shook his head and smiled warmly.
“No, you need to feed.”
He was so hurt and jealous, Callum felt even worse, especially because he didn’t have to sleep with someone to feed. He was just a socially awkward coward and drunken sex was the easy way out.
Still, Callum continued, “I wouldn’t but it’s the only way I’ve ever fed… But…”
“Hm?” Mason cocked his head slightly. Callum could see the barest hint of hope shining his blue eyes.
“…If…um, I mean, you…” He couldn’t get the words out and was sure that he was on the brink of spontaneously combusting.
Thankfully, or not, Callum wasn’t quite sure, Mason understood what he was trying to suggest and a grin lit up his face.
“I wouldn’t mind at all,” Mason said. “Although I could do without the pain,” he added teasingly.
“You deserved it,” Callum grumbled, flushing as he looked to the side. “But, if you really don’t mind, I’ll use the anesthetic.”
Mason was beaming and his ridiculously giddy smile stayed on his face while he followed Callum around the store, helping the halfie gather groceries since he had already gathered his own. There was a very odd feeling of domesticity to the whole thing that Callum did his best to ignore.
After paying, Callum wasn’t even all that surprised to see that Mason had grabbed Callum’s bags along with his own, leaving only the lightest one for the amused and mildly panicking halfie.
“Mason,” Callum deadpanned.
“Yes, love?” Mason replied, grinning cheekily, swinging the plastic bags behind his back.
He looked like such a kid, impish smile and dancing eyes, Callum couldn’t help the slight quirk of his lips as he rolled his eyes and walked out of the store, Mason quick to follow.
They went to Mason’s car without discussion. It felt unfamiliarly natural to load up the trunk with their bags before sliding into the front.
When they were seated, neither moved to put on their seatbelts. Callum bit his lip and was surprised to feel his fangs dig into his skin. He was so caught up in his mind and recent events that he had really underestimated how strong the craving was getting.
“Mason,” Callum started. It was as if the realization of how deep he was in the craving was the catalyst to his thirst. He could hear two distinct heartbeats pounding in his head with several others thumping in the background. He could smell the warmth of Mason’s blood running through his veins, visualize the flow. He never let himself get this far. He always went in search for a trick the second he started getting the first tingles in his teeth. It was as if the stress and confusion of the past couple weeks had made him oblivious to the curse of his vampiric half and now that he was relaxed to an extent, everything was hitting him with full force.
It was terrifying.
“Mason, I—” Callum covered his mouth with his hands when his fangs extended to their full length and couldn’t retract them. His increasing panic seemed to only heighten his thirst, which then increased his panic even more. It was a vicious cycle.
“Shh, Callum, breathe.”
Mason’s hands went to Callum’s face, cupping his cheeks and turning his face so that they were looking directly at each other, wild green meeting concerned blue.
The panic subsided just a bit.
“You okay?” Mason asked slowly. “Calm?”
Callum hesitated before nodding slightly.
“You won’t hurt anyone,” Mason continued.
Callum wanted to speak but his hands were still over his mouth and he didn’t know what to say. Or ask. How was Mason so calm when Callum broke into a spontaneous panic attack, would have been a good one.
“I’m going to let go of you and then you’ll drop your hands when you’re good and ready, okay?”
Mason waited until Callum nodded again before slowly letting go. Callum missed the warmth of the shifter’s hands immediately. It was like he was floating again. And not the good, fluffy, euphoric kind. It was the terrifying, dangerous, chaotic kind where darkness stretched at every corner.
Mason tilted his neck to the side.
“M-Mason,” Callum slowly dropped his hands, clenching them on his lap.
Mason grinned, “You promised to numb.” His grin softened, “I trust you.”
Callum’s eyes were drawn to the expanse of smooth, tanned neck, zoning in on the shifter’s pulse point. He could practically see the lines of red that hid under the skin.
“C’mon, I want to know what it feels like without the pain.”
Callum leaned forward and carefully put his hands on Mason’s shoulder and cheek, tilting his head down so his throbbing fangs brushed against Mason’s skin.
He was shaking as he gave Mason a tentative lick, the faintest hint of salt registering on his tongue.
The wolf shivered, although his movement was not from fear or nervousness. One of Mason’s hands went up to the back of Callum’s neck and gently pulled him closer. Callum closed his eyes and let the numbing agent coat his fangs before he slid them neatly into Mason’s neck.
Blood flooded his mouth and Callum pushed his face deeper into Mason’s neck on instinct. It tasted better than he remembered. Sweet yet tangy, with that extra hint of something else he had no name for but figured was unique to his shifter.
Callum drank gratefully, but focused on making sure he didn’t take too much. When he was sated and Mason’s grip on his neck began to grow slightly slack, Callum slipped his fangs out of Mason’s neck, lapping gently at the puncture marks to speed up the healing process.
He pulled away with a soft sigh and opened his eyes to see Mason staring right at him, eyes dark with want and need.
Callum was sucked into the darkened blues, not realizing that he was gradually leaning forward again. His eyes were half-lidded, caught in Mason’s heated gaze. They closed completely when the shifter leaned forward and tilted his head to smoothly capture Callum’s mouth.
There were still traces of Mason’s blood on Callum’s lips and tongue, but Mason didn’t seem to mind as he swiped his tongue across Callum’s lips before delving into his mouth when the halfie parted his lips in a sigh.
Hands went to necks and tongues tangled as lips brushed together. It was slow and deep, wet and hot.
When they finally parted, Callum slowly opened his eyes, blinking in a daze.
Mason’s eyes were opened, still dark and swallowed by his pupils. He leaned forward and pressed a final kiss to Callum’s lips.
Callum’s eyes widened, realization crashing down on him, “Wait, but I didn’t—I only used the anesthesia!”
The darkness ebbed faintly as Mason raised a brow, “You’ve got an aphrodisiac in your teeth too?”
Callum flushed, “Um, yes, but I swear I didn’t use it on you.”
Mason chuckled, “Callum, I don’t need an aphrodisiac to get hot for you.”
Callum didn’t know what to say, so he didn’t say anything.
“Are you okay now?” Mason asked, grin falling into a serious line.
Callum nodded, “Yes…I, sorry for panicking. I just didn’t realize how thirsty I was.”
Mason stroked his thumb across Callum’s cheek, “Hey, it’s alright. You’ve had a pretty stressful couple of weeks. But do try and be more aware of your health and needs. If something happened to you…”
Callum bit his lip and looked down, but he could bring himself to move out of Mason’s palm.
Mason eventually removed his hand and Callum reluctantly sat back in the chair. The car started up and Mason pulled out onto the road.
“Where to?” he asked.
Callum took a moment of thought before replying as calmly as possible, “Mind dropping me off at my apartment?”
“Sure. Just tell me where to go.” Callum had to give Mason credit for limiting his reaction to a broad grin. He wouldn’t have been surprised if Mason had gotten out of the car and started jumping and fist pumping and cheering out loud like a maniac.
It didn’t take long to reach Callum’s apartment building and he was beginning to regret letting Mason know where he lived. His street was on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Mason’s, and he couldn’t help but feel a bit embarrassed about the difference in their social standing.
Mason didn’t seem to notice anything.
“I finally know where you live,” he grinned, turning off the car.
Callum rolled his eyes, “Don’t make me regret this.”
“Never,” Mason leaned over and pecked Callum’s cheek. “Let’s get your bags inside.”
Callum had to stop Mason there, “Uh, it’s fine. I can do that myself. And, you really do not want to leave your car alone here. The second it gets out of your sight, you can kiss it goodbye.” And while Callum had lowered his guard enough to let Mason know where he lived, he wasn’t comfortable with letting the wolf into his living space quite yet.
Mason pouted, but nodded and helped Callum gather his bags before getting back into his car. Callum hesitated before going over to Mason’s window, waiting for the shifter to lower it before ducking his head inside to ask, “Um, I was wondering if you wanted to watch this show with me tomorrow. It came out a little while ago and it’s only eight twenty or so minute long episodes. I’d ask Grayson but he’s got to study for exams and Georgia wouldn’t be interested in the show so…”
Callum’s cheeks were a burning red as he bit his lip and waited for Mason’s answer.
The shifter took a moment to process Callum’s words before beaming, “I’d love to! Your place or mine?”
“Yours?” Callum hoped.
Mason nodded, “I’ll come by and pick you up at around five tomorrow?”
“Sounds great. I’ll, uh, see you tomorrow then.”
“I’ll text you.”
Callum sucked his bottom lip into his mouth before leaning in and kissing Mason’s cheek, “Bye.”
Mason’s smile was so wide, it was a miracle his face hadn’t split in two. Callum hurried to his building, extremely conscious of Mason watching his back until he was completely out of sight.
A/N: If you hadn't noticed, I have upped the rating because of upcoming scenes. Yeah. The end is so close. I have really mixed feelings about that.