“I want to die, completely this time,” Callum grumbled.
Grayson looked over to the table Callum was glaring at and raised a brow in question, “One night stand that didn’t get the memo?”
Callum sighed, “I’m not sure if that’s a better or worse alternative.” It took him a minute of thought before shaking his head, “Nope. Worse. That meant I’d have had sex with him.”
“Then who is he?”
“My high school bully.”
“But you’re a vampire.”
“It’s been only two years, remember? And he’s always been a stupid wolf. Besides, vampires get bullied too. No species is exempt from it, and, I’m just a halfie.”
Grayson nodded in acquiescence then patted Callum on the shoulder, “Well you’re gonna just have to face him. He’s in your area, pal.”
Callum curved his lips into a pout and grabbed hold of one of Grayson’s hands, holding it close to his chest. With wide, pleading eyes, he silently begged.
“Don’t be a coward, Callum,” Grayson replied, freeing his hand and walking away.
Callum scowled at his back and huffed in displeasure as he reluctantly walked over to Mason who was already watching him with a slight frown.
“What would you like?” Callum grumbled.
Mason smirked, “You would be nice.”
Callum glared at the wolf and was about to tell him to leave if he wasn’t going to eat anything but Mason wasn’t done yet.
“What’s your relationship with the guy you were holding hands with?” he asked, nodding his head in Grayson’s direction. “The human.”
Callum narrowed his eyes suspiciously, “Why?”
“It’s an innocent question.”
Callum scoffed, “Nothing about you is innocent. Are you going to actually order anything or are you just here to make my work unbearable and ask me stupid questions?”
“Coffee and Belgium waffles, please.”
Callum sighed, “Anything else.”
“Your number,” Mason grinned.
Callum didn’t bother to dignify the comment with a response and walked away, giving the ticket to Tyra in the kitchen.
“See, that wasn’t so bad, now was it?” Grayson said, coming up next to Callum to hand over his ticket as well.
Callum sighed, “How did he even find out I worked here though? I’ve never seen him until that stupid double date Georgia made me go to. I never even knew he was in the same city!”
“Tough luck, man, but he’ll get bored eventually, right?”
“He is the most persistent and stubborn person I’ve ever known. He won’t tire easily.”
Callum quickly prepped Mason’s coffee and brought it over to his table. He had been extremely tempted to pour salt in it but managed to refrain.
“Here you go. Your waffles will be another five minutes,” he said, laying the mug down in front of Mason.
As Callum turned to leave, Mason grabbed a hold of his wrist, pulling him to a stop.
Callum scowled and pulled his hand free, well, at least tried to. “Let go of me, Mason.”
Mason grinned and pulled Callum’s hand to his face, pressing his lips to the vulnerable underside of the other man’s wrist.
Callum spluttered and flushed red, snatching his hand back and holding it to his chest.
“What was that?” he demanded, still flustered.
Mason didn’t stop grinning. In fact, his lips seemed to have stretched wider. “I could do it again.”
“Idiot,” Callum grumbled and quickly made his escape to the register. When he was safely behind the counter, he rubbed his face, willing his blush to go away.
“What’s got you all flustered, buttercup?” Tracy, the owner of the diner, asked as she brought up Mason’s order.
“Nothing,” Callum said. “It’s just hot.”
“Riiight,” Tracy drawled. “Who’s tall, brunet, and handsome over there? He hasn’t taken his eyes off you since you came running over here blushing like a Japanese school girl.”
“I was not blushing like a Japanese school girl!” Callum protested. “Shut up.” He quickly grabbed the plate of waffles and stormed off to Mason’s table.
“What has you so riled up?” the wolf asked when Callum set the plate down.
“None of your fucking business,” Callum snapped.
“Of course it’s my business. I’m the only one who can rile you up.”
Callum rolled his eyes, “Whatever, Mason. Eat your food and leave.”
“When does your shift end?” he asked, cutting up a piece of his waffle and popping it into his mouth.
“Again, none of your damn business. Eat and leave,” Callum said, walking away to attend to other customers. It was still pretty early in the day but the morning rush was about to start and Callum wasn’t particularly looking too forward to it. Especially this one regular that, just like Mason, didn’t get the fucking message.
Thirty minutes later, right on time, he strolled in, calling out, “Callum, babe, how have you been?”
Callum’s eye twitched but he held back his desire to drain Jake dry without using the numbing agent his fangs could secrete.
“The usual, sir?” Callum asked with frigid politeness.
Jake frowned playfully, “Aw, c’mon, babe, when will you drop the formality and call me Jake?” He smirked suggestively, “Or would you prefer Jakey?”
“Would you like your usual, sir,” Callum repeated. His patience had long since run dry having to deal with Mason’s presence and he was so not in the mood.
Jake sighed but his cheesy grin was back in seconds, “Yep. Veggie omelet and an espresso.”
Callum nodded and was about to walk away, but as he turned around, he felt a swat on his ass and jumped in surprise, turning back swiftly to glare at Jake who just winked at him. He grit his teeth and stormed away to the counter before he could snap Jake’s neck. Once he gave Tracy the ticket he saw Mason waving him over. With a heavy sigh, he walked over and stood next to him. “Yes?”
“Who. The hell. Is he?” Mason growled.
Callum was alarmed. Mason was bristling, just barely holding back his wolf’s physical form. Brown-white fur was sprouting along his face and arms, his teeth were elongating into fangs, and his eyes were flashing as deep, animalistic growls came from his throat.
Callum put a hand on Mason’s shoulder and hissed, “Mason, calm down! Don’t even think about shifting right now.”
The growling didn’t stop and Callum didn’t know what to do. He had no idea what had triggered this reaction but he had to act fast or there would be an enraged wolf in Tracy’s diner.
Callum looked about in the hopes that somehow, he would find the solution to this problem and caught eyes with Grayson who was watching carefully, if fearfully. Being human, he did not want to get in between whatever was happening with the wolf shifter.
Callum cursed under his breath and tried again, “Mason, c’mon, man, pull it together.”
Nothing was helping. Mason was gripping the table, his claws now extended and digging into the wood, sure to leave claw marks Tracy was not going to be happy about.
When it seemed like there was nothing Callum could do, a stupid idea came to mind.
“Fuck me,” Callum grumbled. He had no other options other than attacking Mason and trying to knock him out or something, which would be even stupider than his current idea as he was only a halfie, therefore weaker than the average vampire and stood no chance against an angry wolf. Especially when that angry wolf was Mason.
“Mason,” Callum tried in the hopes he wouldn’t have to resort to his half formed plan. The man simply continued growling low in his throat, bearing his fangs in the direction of Jake. It gave a clue as to why Mason was suddenly homicidal, but Callum couldn’t figure out just why.
Steeling himself, Callum acted quickly. He threw his leg over Mason’s lap so his knee was on the seat, next to Mason’s outer thigh and his other foot was flat on the floor so he was sort of straddling the now confused, close to shifting shifter.
“Calm the fuck down, Mason,” Callum said before cupping Mason’s face with his hands, closing his eyes, and leaning down to press his lips to Mason’s. The reaction was not instantaneous, but gradually, Mason’s fangs retracted into regular human teeth, his fur receded, and his claws turned back into normal nails. And then he was kissing Callum back, his human hands gripping Callum’s hips.
In one swift motion that took Callum by surprise, especially since he was about to quickly get away from Mason now that the other man was no longer about to shift and tear the place apart, Mason pulled Callum over so that he was on his back on the leather seating and Mason crawled on top of him, their legs weaving one another’s. Callum barely managed to make a noise of protest and surprise when Mason leaned down and resumed their kiss, forcing Callum’s lips apart and letting his tongue delve into the warm cavern of Callum’s mouth.
“Mmph—Mas—Mmm,” Callum struggled. He put his hands on Mason’s chest and tried to push him away but Mason was too strong. So he did the next best thing. He brought his knee up and jammed it right into Mason’s groin landing a direct hit to one of the most vulnerable parts of the male anatomy. Mason groaned in pain, pulling away from Callum, and Callum used the opportunity to roughly shove Mason back, the shifter ending up on the floor, curled into a ball holding his crotch.
Callum sat up, his back against the window, trying to catch his breath. When he looked around, he saw that everyone had their eyes on him.
“Oh god, just kill me now,” Callum groaned, covering his face with his hands and bringing his knees up to his chest. He could already feel his face and neck burning up and just wished the ground would swallow him whole.
“Did you really have to get me right in the nuts?” Mason groaned from the floor.
“Who told you to try and…and…do that,” Callum snapped, onlookers momentarily forgotten.
Mason sat up and looked at Callum who was still curled up at the end of the booth seat. His blush had yet to die down.
“Well, you did initiate it,” Mason pointed out as he got to his feet.
“Only because you were about to shift!” Callum defended. “You weren’t listening and I didn’t know how else to snap you out of it.”
Mason grinned, “You still kissed me. Not going to let that go, love. Also, now that I’ve cooled down, I have something to do.”
Callum frowned, both at the pet name that made his pulse jump and in confusion as to what Mason was going to do. He watched, with everyone else in the diner, as Mason went up to Jake, though walking a bit awkwardly.
“Hey, pal,” Mason started off jovially, but Callum knew that Mason was pissed. He recognized the tone from his high school days. He frowned in thought as he remembered. Mason had never once used that tone against him. In fact, when he thought about it, Mason had never once been truly angry with him. Only others who tried to bully Callum. He had always thought it was a territorial thing, something along the lines of being possessive over prey or something.
“Yes?” Jake asked. He was glaring at Mason despite having witnessed the other man almost losing control and shifting. He puffed his chest out and crossed his arms over his chest in a show of confidence and strength.
Mason grabbed Jake by the collar of his shirt and pulled him up so they were face to face, though because Mason was a fricking giant, Jake was on his toes. He was grinning sadistically as he said, “Touch Callum again and I’ll rip you apart, limb by limb, with my bare teeth, without shifting. Don’t talk to him, touch him, look at him, or even fucking think about him. I never want to see your face or smell your disgusting scent ever again, and if you seek Callum out, you’ll wish your great grandparents were never even conceived. Am I understood?”
When Jake didn’t respond, Mason snarled, his teeth once again glistening fangs, and Jake shrieked like a little girl, nodding furiously, “G-Got it!”
Mason released his hold on Jake’s collar and the man fell to the floor, staring up at Mason in fear.
Mason nodded towards the door, “Why are you not walking out the door?”
Jake got to his feet not a second later and ran out of the diner. Everyone was silent, watching Mason with varying degrees of awe, fear, and a bit of lust. It depended on the person.
“Just letting all of you know right now, Callum is mine,” Mason declared aloud, meeting the eyes of each and every person. Satisfied with their agreeing silence, he walked back to his seat where Callum was staring at him in disbelief.
“Y-You…” Callum didn’t know what to say.
Mason smiled, “You won’t have to worry about that pervert ever again.”
That comment snapped Callum out of his daze. He snorted, “What about you?”
Mason grinned and leaned down so he was caging Callum against the window. “You’re stuck with me, love.”
Callum stuttered and looked away from Mason’s eyes. They were too intense, seeing right into Callum’s very soul. It made him incredibly uncomfortable.
“Get away from me, creep,” Callum muttered and pushed at Mason’s chest. Mason complied and moved out of the way so Callum could get back on his feet and rush away to the counter, sliding to the floor to hide as best he could.
The silence of the diner finally ended as people went to their own conversations, though Callum could hear that they were talking about him and Mason and Jake. Nothing he could do about that, hard as he might try, so he decided to just ignore everything and do his job. After cooling down on the floor of course.