It was done.
Callum stared at the page in front of him, the page that had consumed practically his entire being since his big revelation. Every spare moment he had the past few days, he was working on it, perfecting it. He had to capture the exact image no matter how many pages of his sketchbook he went through.
It was nowhere near the real thing, but it was as close as Callum could get with pen, pencil, and memory.
But now that it was done, Callum didn't want to move forward. Despite his promise, despite telling himself to stop overthinking and being too cautious, he couldn't really help himself. He was horrible at putting things in coherent sentences when his feelings were involved, but he hoped that lead and graphite could deliver his message.
Callum carefully put the sketchbook away, setting it on his desk. He had to get ready to go to Haggard and since it was Saturday, it was going to be quite busy. It may help him keep his mind off of the potential upcoming confrontation with Mason.
The rush of customers did help to a degree, but whenever he saw Mason, Callum's heart would trip, his mind would race, and he'd fumble with whatever he was doing. When he had arrived, he just gave the usual greeting, if slightly meek, and was trying to come up with someway to ask Mason over.
By the time Haggard closed and everyone was cleaning up for the night and preparing to head home, Callum still hadn't a clue as to how he was going to get the portrait to Mason.
"Hey, Callum, can I talk to you for a sec?" Mason said quietly, walking up to the halfie as he wiped down the bar.
"Huh, oh, yeah, what's up?" Callum replied. He turned around so he was facing Mason and chewed on the inside of his cheek.
Mason stared at him for a moment longer before asking, "Is everything okay?"
Callum frowned, twisting the cloth in his hands, "Yeah, why?"
"You've just seemed a bit troubled tonight and I was worried," he explained.
"Oh." Callum didn't think he was that obvious, or Mason was just that perceptive of Callum's emotions. The latter possibility brought that storm of butterflies back. The kaleidoscope. "I guess I am a bit…troubled."
"Can I help in anyway?" Mason asked, before adding, "But only if you want me to."
Callum smiled and shook his head, a blush growing on his face, "You could definitely help considering I've been trying to come up with a way to ask you to come over so I can show you something."
Mason blinked in surprise and Callum peeked up at him, shifting on his feet, "So…um, can you?"
It took a moment but Mason eagerly nodded his head, "Yes, yeah, of course. Is this the project you were talking about before?"
Callum nodded slightly and Mason's grin was blinding.
No one said anything about Mason rushing clean up but the knowing looks more than made up for the lack of comments. After everyone else had gone home, Mason locked up and walked Callum to his car.
"Do I get any hints?" the shifter asked, rushing to get to the car first so he could open the door for the halfie.
"No, and I can open doors by myself, Mason," Callum replied, sliding in.
Mason ducked his head down and grinned cheekily, "I know, but I wanted to," and quickly kissed the tip of Callum's nose before closing the door and running around to the driver's side.
Callum couldn't help but smile at Mason's child-like excitement even though his anxiety was increasing every second.
They arrived quickly, Mason having gone a bit past the speed limit in his haste despite Callum telling him to calm down and that his apartment was not going to grow feet and run away.
"You can use my parking space," Callum told him, directing Mason towards the underground parking. Since Callum didn't own a vehicle, his space was always vacant.
Mason parked and the two exited the car, Mason pouting when Callum got out before he could run around and open his door for him. Callum rolled his eyes and led the way to the slightly decrepit elevator.
Mason frowned at the interior and highly concerning shudder of the lift as Callum pressed the button to his floor and they began their ascent, "This doesn't look safe."
"There has yet to be an accident," Callum assured him.
"Still… I do not like the idea of you taking a lift this sketchy," Mason's frown deepened. He stepped closer to Callum and grabbed his hand, as if seeking comfort while also trying to somehow protect him. It was more fodder for the butterflies.
When they arrived on the floor, Mason was quick to get Callum out of the potential death trap and followed Callum to the front of his door.
Callum had his key in the lock when he realized that despite having spent the night trying to come up with a way to ask Mason to come over, he hadn't cleaned up his apartment. His mind raced as he tried to think back and remember if he had left anything horrid lying about.
He looked over his shoulder at Mason who was watching him, jumping on his toes in anticipation.
"Uh, do you mind waiting out here for like five minutes?" Callum asked, biting his lip.
Mason raised a brow, a small smirk curling at his lips, "No, but I really don't care how dirty you think your apartment is, Callum."
Callum sighed before resigning to his fate and unlocked his door, opening it and letting Mason in. He released a sigh of relief when he saw that he did not have dirty laundry or the like lying around the studio. It wasn't clean per say, but not a complete sty. He had a couple dirty dishes in the sink and his sketchbooks were lying about but it wasn't anything mortifying.
Mason looked around like a kid in a candy store, eying everything he could while Callum closed and locked his door, leaning against it in nervous anticipation. He knew it was stupid, but he really hoped Mason didn't hate his dingy little studio.
Mason looked over at him with a grin, "This is the first time I've ever been in your room."
Callum rolled his eyes but smiled shyly.
"It's so cozy and warm, and, god, your scent is everywhere," Mason sighed after inhaling deeply. Callum's face immediately heated in flames.
"Okay, no more sniffing my studio," Callum rushed, pushing off the door.
Mason chuckled and glanced around, picking up one of the sketchbooks but Callum scampered to him and plucked it out of his hands.
"Just a little peak?" Mason pouted.
Callum shook his head, "You can look at something else. Now stand here and don't go snooping around. There isn't really much to snoop for anyway in this sardine can."
Mason nodded and folded his hands in front of him, swaying on his toes as Callum went to his desk and picked up the sketchbook, the Mason Sketchbook he dubbed it because it had somehow turned into just that. Page after page were just sketches of Mason. He flipped to the page of the final drawing and tried to take steadying breaths. He felt like he was going to throw up.
"Callum, are you okay?" Mason called, his voice coming closer despite Callum having told him to stay put.
"Y-yeah," Callum managed, turning around to face the shifter. His grip on the sketchbook was tense, even more so when Mason's eyes fell on it. "I, uh, this is what I wanted to show you."
He held out the sketchbook, the blank side facing Mason who took it and turned it over. Callum's heart was going on overdrive as Mason stared at the drawing, his mouth partially parted and eyes wide.
The drawing was of Mason, or at least it had started out with just a simple portrait, the expression Callum finally settling on being the one of Mason at the happiest he had ever seen him – the night of his word vomit confession. But as he drew and redrew, trying to get everything perfect, he added butterflies to the background, a kaleidoscope of them, with 'I've fallen in love with you, you stubborn wolf' written on the wings numerous times so it looked as if the fragile wings were made from the phrase.
"I just wanted to give you something in return and I'm really bad at vocalizing things and I know a stupid portrait isn't really much but—"
"Callum," Mason interrupted. "Shut up and for the love of all that is holy, please just kiss me."
And so simple a phrase was enough to dispel any and all anxiety Callum had pent up in him as he moved toward Mason and wrapped his arms around the shifter's neck. Mason carefully set the sketchbook to the side so his hands were free to hold Callum. When they tilted their heads, and their lips met, the world could have gone to hell and beyond and neither would have noticed or cared. It was a kiss devoid of sexual intent. It was a kiss of affection in its rawest form.
When they pulled apart, Mason's expression put Callum's drawing to shame. There was no possible way to capture the amount of happiness he radiated by mortal means.
"So, does this mean…" Mason trailed off, looking hopeful yet hesitant, voice soft.
Callum rolled his eyes fondly and ducked his head into Mason's chest, "I drew butterflies with their wings saying that I've fallen in love with you. Yes, Mase, you big idiot, I love you."
Between one blink and the next, Callum found himself lying in his bed, crushed against Mason's chest with no hope of escaping the shifter's hold even if he had the slightest inclination to. Mason's face was buried in Callum's hair and his heart was pounding loud enough for Callum to hear it thundering along with his own.
"Ah, before I forget, do you have a name for it, the drawing – of which I want several copies as well as one blown up and framed."
Callum scratched the back of his head and looked away, mumbling, "No…"
Mason raised a brow, "Really?"
"I wasn't really thinking about names for it," Callum drawled. He had been too busy having near nervous breakdowns and severe heart palpitations.
"Think of something then. You can't just have this gorgeous masterpiece nameless," Mason insisted.
"Stupid Stubborn Wolf," Callum huffed. It was definitely fitting.
"It's missing a word, love."
Callum frowned, "What?"
Tilting his head down, Mason lightly brushed Callum's lips with his own, "My Stupid Stubborn Wolf. I am all yours, Callum, heart, body, soul, and everything in between."
"Hmm," Callum thought it over though there really wasn't much thinking to do. "I like the sound of that. My stupid stubborn wolf."
Chuckling and nuzzling Callum's cheek with his nose, Mason said, "You can drop the stupid stubborn wolf part and replace it with my name, ya know."
Callum didn't reply, only chased Mason's lips with his own because it didn't matter how anyone phrased it, two stubborn dorks were finally together.