When Callum woke up it was still dark outside, which wasn’t all too surprising. He couldn’t really move though as Mason had completely wrapped himself around him. He had one arm holding tightly around Callum’s waist, his other arm bent and being used as a second pillow, and he had a leg slung over Callum’s hips that was hooked around Callum’s thigh.
Callum watched Mason sleep. He was snoring lightly, his wavy brown hair tousled in his face with a soft smile gracing his lips.
“Mmm… Callum,” Mason sighed, his smile widening as he hugged Callum tighter and nuzzled his head, inhaling deeply.
Callum rolled his eyes but he was smiling too. He brought a hand up and brushed Mason’s hair away from his closed eyes, twirling a lock around his finger. He gently traced the contours of Mason’s face, paying special attention to the shifter’s soft lips.
When Mason started kissing Callum’s finger, the halfie chuckled silently and dropped his hand. He managed to turn so he was on his back and staring up at the ceiling. Mason just held him tighter but otherwise didn’t stir.
Callum sighed. Honestly, he was torn. Mason loved him. The shifter had made that more than perfectly clear from the moment they were reunited at Haggard. But the question was, did Callum love him? Love him to the same extent that Mason so obviously loved him. Love him enough to mate with him. To seal their fate and spend the rest of their lives together. Was he ready to take that step?
Callum’s head spun. He groaned and rubbed his face.
Callum turned his head to see Mason looking down at him half asleep. “You alrigh’?”
Callum forced a smile, “Fine, Mason. Go back to sleep.”
Mason frowned, “Whas wron’?”
Callum cupped the side of Mason’s face with a hand and pecked his lips, “Go to sleep, Mason. I’m fine, promise. I’m just gonna go grab some water.”
Mason scrunched his brow, squinting at Callum with heavy lids. Callum rubbed his thumb along Mason’s jaw and gently kissed him until the shifter finally relaxed and slipped back into an unconscious state.
Callum waited until Mason showed no signs of reawakening before carefully detracting himself from Mason and getting off the bed. Mason grumbled but stayed asleep, rolling onto where Callum had been and sniffing Callum’s pillow before nuzzling into it with a happy sigh.
Callum grabbed his boxer briefs and tugged them on before venturing out to find the kitchen. He grabbed a glass and filled it up with water, gulping it down before placing the glass in the sink. He shifted on his feet for a bit, hesitant to return to the bed. He stalled by heading to the floor length panoramic window and staring out at the city. There weren’t many cars out so Callum figured it was somewhere around three or four in the morning at the latest.
Feeling awkward standing in front of a large window in just his underwear in someone else’s house, Callum made his way back to Mason’s bedroom after grabbing his phone from the coffee table in front of the TV. Before slipping back into bed and sitting up against the headboard with a pillow to cushion his back, he disposed of the used tissues Mason had thrown on the floor.
No sooner had he settled in did Mason’s arms go around his waist and his head land on Callum’s lap. He muttered something incoherent under his breath and nuzzled Callum’s stomach before resuming his quiet snores.
Callum shook his head and carded his fingers through Mason’s hair as he unlocked his phone and decided to reread his favorite webcomics after catching up on the ones that had been updated.
Callum read and unconsciously combed Mason’s hair right up until Mason started to stir.
“Morning,” Callum said when Mason opened his eyes blearily.
Mason frowned then pinched himself, yelping in pain.
Callum raised a brow, “Do I want to even ask?”
“I was just making sure I wasn’t dreaming,” Mason said, grinning dorkily. His voice had a rough edge to it from just waking up that Callum found incredibly attractive. He hadn’t noticed it before during his mini mental panic attack.
Callum rolled his eyes and ran his fingers through Mason’s hair. He found he really enjoyed the act, and that Mason enjoyed it as well if his sighing was anything to go by.
“What time’s it?” Mason yawned, rubbing his nose into Callum’s stomach.
“Just nearing seven thirty.”
Mason pulled himself up to sit beside Callum and started kissing up his neck. “How long’ve you been awake?” he asked against Callum’s skin.
Callum locked his phone and tilted his head to give Mason more access as he replied, “Since three forty-ish.”
“How the hell are you not exhausted?”
Callum shrugged and got off the bed, picking up his clothes from the floor. As he was about to put them back on, Mason’s arms wrapped around him from behind.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Mason asked, pressing up behind Callum. The shifter gently moved his hips against Callum’s backside, the thin material of Callum’s boxer briefs being the only barrier between Callum’s bare ass and Mason’s morning wood.
“Putting on my clothes?” Callum said, phrasing it as a question.
Mason plucked the clothes from Callum’s hands and balled them up, tossing them right into the hamper by the bathroom door. “What clothes?”
Callum rolled his eyes and pushed Mason’s hands away, heading to the bathroom. “You got a spare toothbrush?” he asked over his shoulder.
Mason growled but it wasn’t threatening. It was almost like his wolf was sulking. “Yeah, I’ll get it for you.”
Mason followed Callum into the bathroom in all his naked and half erect glory, rooting around one of the drawers under the sink until he found a brand new toothbrush. He ripped open the packaging and handed the new brush to Callum who said a quiet thank you.
While they brushed their teeth, Callum kept his gaze on the sink. He could feel Mason staring at him but he ignored the shifter. Callum felt beyond awkward, his cool façade that he usually put on for tricks being much harder to keep up. There he was brushing his teeth with the person he slept with the night before. It was like he had stepped into a different universe. Whenever he slept with someone, he’d leave as soon as he woke up or they went to sleep, making sure he was gone before they even realized it. Never so much as leaving a note. Yet look where he was now, standing in his underwear just a few inches from his naked lover of the previous night.
“You planning on putting on underwear at least?” Callum asked after rinsing his mouth.
“Am I distracting you, love?” Mason teased.
“What do you have that could possibly distract me?” Callum scoffed. He stepped out of the bathroom and threw his underwear into the hamper. If Mason was going to wash his clothes, he could wash his underwear too.
Callum returned to the bathroom and Mason’s eyes widened in surprise, but Callum ignored him as well as the tingles of a blush creeping up his neck. He walked past Mason and stepped into the shower stall, closing the glass door behind him and starting up the shower.
The cold water quickly warmed up and Callum sighed, massaging his fingers into his hair.
He was about to reach for the shampoo when the glass door opened and closed behind Mason who glued himself to Callum’s back.
“How’s your body?” Mason asked, sliding his hands up and down Callum’s thighs and hips.
“I wasn’t the virgin, Mason,” Callum replied. “Let go, I want to get cleaned up and get going.”
Mason turned Callum around and pushed him against the wall, pouting, “Why do you want to leave?”
Callum looked to the side, swallowing as he lied, “I’ve got errands to run.”
Mason sighed and dropped his head on Callum’s shoulder, “If you don’t want to be around me, just say so. You’ve always been a bad liar.”
Callum instantly felt worse than he did from attempting to lie. He bit his lip and wrapped his arms around Mason, rubbing his back in an attempt at comfort.
“Sorry. I’m just… This is weird to me. I haven’t stayed till morning with anyone I’ve ever slept with before, with the exception of Justin, but yeah… I’m used to leaving the moment I wake up at some ungodly hour in the morning or even as soon as the other person falls asleep. It’s just been really long since I’ve spent the whole night with someone. And I know you’ve been doing so since we met again, but…just, bear with me for a bit.”
Mason lifted his head and pressed his lips to Callum’s. Callum closed his eyes and kissed the wolf back, both of them ignoring the water raining down on them.
They didn’t go farther than kissing, stopping before they ran out of breath. Mason reached around Callum and grabbed his shampoo, squirting a generous amount into his palm before applying it to Callum’s hair.
Callum closed his eyes as Mason massaged the suds into his wet hair, letting Mason do as he wished. When he rinsed out his hair, he did the same to the shifter, though Mason had to lean down to make it easier on Callum.
Once they finished with the shampoo, they both applied Mason’s shower gel to each other. Hands sliding over skin in a manner that was devoid of sexual intent. It was so completely and utterly domestic, Callum had no idea what to make out of the situation.
They rinsed off and Mason handed Callum a towel, both drying off before wrapping their towel around their waist.
“What do you want to eat?” Mason asked as he headed for the kitchen.
“Whatever’s fine,” Callum replied. “I’m gonna borrow some of your clothes seeing as you dumped mine in the laundry basket.”
He didn’t wait for Mason’s reply as he went to the closet and quickly went through it, looking for something that he could wear for the day. He grabbed a pair of ripped jeans and a black t-shirt, hesitating for a second before nabbing a pair of Mason’s boxers that looked smaller than the others.
Callum dressed quickly and rummaged around for a belt as the pants were a bit too loose. Unfortunately, Mason seemed to have something against the useful accessory as he didn’t have a single one.
Deciding to suffer through tugging his pants up every five minutes, Callum exited the bedroom and wandered over to the kitchen where Mason was doing fancy kitchen things.
“What’re you making?” Callum asked, standing beside Mason as he observed.
Callum frowned, “Ain’t that the super fancy egg thing that’s supposed to be real hard to make?”
Mason shrugged a bit too nonchalantly, “It’s not too bad. I mean the hardest thing would probably be poaching the egg or making sure the hollandaise doesn’t break. I’ve made it a bunch of times though.”
Callum watched Mason’s face but the wolf had his gaze focused on the pot of water heating up. A light pink dusting covered the shifter’s cheeks.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were trying to impress me,” Callum teased, grinning when Mason’s cheeks lit up.
“Is it that bad of a thing to do?” he muttered.
Callum chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck, “No. I’m just not used to it. No one’s really ever gone to the lengths that you do. I don’t know how to react. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around why you even do so much.”
Mason turned away from his cooking to grab Callum’s hands and bring them to his lips, kissing the halfie’s knuckles. “It’s because I love you. I want to keep your taste on my tongue, your scent in my nose for eternity, hold you every night, wake up to you every morning, shower with you, eat with you, watch TV with you, make love to you. I want you to love me as much as I love you.”
Callum tried to come up with a response but nothing came to mind. He settled on an ever so eloquent, “Oh.”
Mason chuckled and turned back to his cooking, “I know you don’t love me yet so don’t worry about it. So long as you know that I love you, I’m more than okay.”
Callum nodded and decided to make himself useful by grabbing two mugs and making coffee for Mason and tea for himself. He was surprised to see that Mason actually had teabags, although the box was still sealed yet not entirely brand new.
Callum glanced at Mason who was humming under his breath and swinging his hips ever so slightly, the towel hanging low on said swinging hips. A small smile tugged at his lips as he prepared their drinks.
Breakfast was served on the coffee table in the living room, the two sitting side by side on the couch.
Callum stared at the food on his plate though he really didn’t think it could be considered food.
“Are you sure this is edible?” he asked.
Mason frowned, “Is something wrong with it? I swear I’ve made it before hundreds of times. I can make you something else if you want.”
“No, no, I didn’t mean it like that,” Callum reassured the now immensely worried shifter. “It’s just, this looks like some kind of masterpiece. I’m almost afraid to touch it and ruin it.”
The way Mason had served the egg was as if he had been ordered to craft the centerpiece for a museum exhibit on food.
Mason’s worried frown disappeared as he laughed and leaned over to kiss Callum’s cheek, “Don’t worry about it, love. It’s really nothing special and you won’t ruin it. You’ll only ruin it if you let it sit and rot.” As if to make a point, Mason cut into his benedict, the runny golden yolk spilling out perfectly, and took a bite. “See?”
Callum bit his lip but he still felt as if he was committing some kind of horrendous act of vandalism as he cut into his own egg. But the taste more than made up for it.
“Oh my god, this is so good,” he moaned. After that one bite, he was no longer hesitant to ravage the meal.
While Callum was shoveling food down his throat, Mason, who was not eating like a starved animal, said, “Can you get rid of all your clothes? Like, just throw everything away?”
Mouth full of egg, ham, and bread, Callum furrowed his brows, “Vha? Vhy?”
Mason shrugged then eyed Callum from head to toe and back to head, “I really like seeing you in my clothes. I mean, I prefer you naked and you look great in your own clothes, not to mention naked, but in mine…damn.”
Callum rolled his eyes and swallowed before replying, “I am not going to feed your already oversized ego by parading around in your clothes 24/7. I’m only wearing these now because I didn’t bring any extra clothes this time.”
“So there’s going to be a next time?” Mason grinned.
Callum scoffed, but a smile twitched at his lips as he remained silent.
“Speaking of clothes…” Mason trailed.
Callum raised a brow.
Mason’s eyes drifted to Callum’s crotch. He licked his lips before saying, “You had pretty interesting underwear last night.”
Callum felt his cheeks heat up. “Shut up. So what if I like tight underwear?”
Mason chuckled and wrapped his arm around Callum’s shoulder, kissing his temple, “I never said I was complaining. You looked unbelievably hot. You’ve gotta model your underwear for me one day.”
“Not happening,” Callum replied, pushing away from Mason and his now wandering lips, although he didn’t manage to escape from under his arm. “Ever.”
Mason pouted but Callum was not going to fall for the puppy dog look, “No, Mason. You want underwear modeling go on Google.”
“But I only want to see you in your underwear,” Mason whined.
“Then you can use your highly creative imagination. I mean you thought up all those scenarios over the past nine years, didn’t you?”
Mason groaned and ducked his head into Callum’s neck, “I thought we were never going to speak of that again.”
“Why? You don’t want to tie me spread eagle on your bed with your ties and have me panting and gasping and so hard and ready that I come from one quick thrust, screaming so loud I lose my voice for a couple of days? You don’t want me to blow you while simultaneously preparing myself? What about—”
“Okay, stop talking,” Mason cut Callum off, covering the halfie’s mouth with his hand.
Callum chuckled until it turned into full-blown laughter at seeing how red Mason’s face had become. After being the one who was constantly flushed, it felt great to have the shifter switch places with him in that aspect.
Callum clutched his stomach, hunched over until he fell onto Mason’s lap, unable to hold himself up anymore. He slowly caught his breath and looked up at Mason who was smiling down at him, his flush having died down a bit.
“I love seeing you laugh,” Mason said, gently rubbing his thumb across Callum’s cheek. “I love you,” he added tenderly.
Callum felt his stomach twist and dropped his gaze from Mason’s face, pushing himself up and going back to eating his breakfast. “Any plans for today?”
Mason resumed eating as well with a shrug, “Nothing much. Got to go to the club in the afternoon. Some guys are coming down to fix whatever’s wrong with the lights at the second floor bar.”
“I guess you’ll want me out of here when you leave then?” Callum asked, swallowing the last bite. He moved onto his tea. It wasn’t the brand he usually bought – this one was undoubtedly much more expensive – but it wasn’t too hard to get used to.
“What about you? Any plans until your shift tonight?” Mason asked.
Callum shook his head, “Nope. I might check up on Dean, haven’t seen him in a while.”
“You excited to finally be coming back to work?”
“You have no idea,” Callum sighed. “I’ve done nothing but drawn and read the past week.”
“I’d love to see more of your drawings,” Mason commented. “I only caught a brief glance when we drove out to the clearing.”
Callum’s face warmed. He had hoped he was past that now that he knew Mason much more…intimately.
“Don’t count on it,” Callum muttered.
They finished up and Mason forbade Callum from taking care of the dishes, claiming that Callum was the guest and the love of Mason’s life so he should be pampered, not put to work. Callum let the shifter do as he pleased, mostly because he was too embarrassed and mildly uneasy about the open affection to question him.
With Mason busy, Callum took his chance to leave.
“I’ll see you tonight, Mason,” Callum said from the entry to the kitchen.
Mason paused from rinsing a dish and turned his head, pouting, “Leaving already?”
Callum bit his lip and shrugged.
“Can I get a kiss before you go?”
Callum sucked in his bottom lip, hesitating before slowly stepping to Mason. His face was bright red as he screwed his eyes shut and leaned up to press his lips to Mason’s. His aim was a bit off due to his lack of sight but he could still feel Mason smiling through the short peck.
“See you,” Mason whispered, his breath fanning Callum’s lips, encouraging the latter’s blush. Callum opened his eyes and felt his core tremble in warmth at Mason’s glowing face. He nodded and quickly left.
In the elevator, Callum fell back against the cool, metal wall. As he got farther and farther away from Mason, his heart and mind seemed to grow more conflicted. He wanted to stay. He wanted to run. He never wanted to forget the previous night. He wished the previous night had never happened. He wanted Mason. He didn’t want to want Mason.
The only thing that he knew with absolute certainty was that he was fucking terrified.