tagGay MaleUnwilling Ch. 10

Unwilling Ch. 10

bymetajinx©

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Copyright by metajinx (under my real name, no, really). Please do not duplicate or copy without explicit permission, because I will hunt you down and bite your shins. This story is purely fictional. I recommend reading all the other parts first, because this is a continued story.

Another chapter is already in the tube and will be published in a few days. I gotta feed this to Lit slowly, so I won't run out of material ;)

This chapter is a bit shorter than the others, as will be the next two. Writing 10k per chapter is really hard, so I stopped trying.

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~*Jared*~

"Again!"

The wooden floor looked very inviting from mere inches away. Jared didn't want to get up, knowing he'd get thrown down again, anyway, but there was yet a glint of pride in him that hadn't been throttled into submission. It wasn't for a lack of trying on Hector's part, who looked outrageously unblemished.

"Come on, get up! You didn't even get a punch in," Hector taunted, looking amused with Jared's inability to counter his attacks.

They had been sparring for two hours, one of which Hector had used to beat Jared up to the point of near-unconsciousness to 'test his abilities', as the lithe man had put it. Jared suspected that Hector had also tested his self-restraint again, with the small difference that the gloves had come off this time.

"I don't get how you do that," he griped and slowly collected himself off the floor. Everything hurt at this point, and he didn't bother hiding it anymore. "It's like you see my punches coming before I even decide to do them."

Hector grinned boyishly. "That's because I do. Your aura, for lack of a better word, tells me what you're planning to do, right before you act."

Jared threw him a befuddled glance. "Say what?"

"It's hard to describe if you haven't felt an aura before," Hector admitted, "but I'll try. It's like your aura stretches to where you plan to go before you make the move, and I can feel it. I don't know what exactly you're going to do, but I know I shouldn't be at that specific place when you do it. And I've been doing this kind of training for so long, I've learned to anticipate what kind of attack you most probably will try at this point."

Blinking, Jared tried to digest that information. He had never been one for the esoteric stuff, but on the other hand, Hector also didn't look like an incense sniffing crystal junkie, so maybe there was something to it. "So you know where a part of my body will be, I'll accept that. But it won't work with, say, bullets, right?"

"No, it won't," Hector agreed and easily dodged a punch Jared tried to sneak in. "Won't help with assassination attempts either, since you need to concentrate on it." He then proceeded to sidestep and hook Jared's leg with his own, then he moved forward and shoved him against the chest, once more bringing him down to the ground. "You can't concentrate on what you don't notice. If someone were to sneak up on you and stab you from behind, there would not be enough of a warning even with aura reading."

Once again lying on the ground, Jared rolled away and rubbed the spot Hector had hit. Another bruise in a sea of bruises Darwin would have to kiss better tonight. It was the one good thing about this failure of a day that came to his mind.

He grinned. "So, you're tossing me around to help me learn this aura thing, or is it a hobby of yours?"

This time, Hector leaned forward to help Jared up. "No," he said as he pulled him to his feet, patting his shoulder, "I tossed you around, as you call it, so you can see for yourself I'm better than you."

With those words, Hector turned around and walked across the small gym hall they were using for their sparring. Jared watched with a puzzled expression on his face as his self-proclaimed teacher picked up a long piece of black cloth.

"That's a self-glorifying thing to say," he finally commented, still staring suspiciously at Hector's hands and the piece of cloth as he walked closer again.

Hector stopped in front of Jared, bending back his head to look up at the taller man. He was much shorter, thinner, more lithe, and still didn't look threatening in any way. He should have sat in a Starbucks cafe instead of slapping big, hunky werewolves around, as far as his looks were concerned.

"It's the truth. If I hadn't shown you I could easily beat you in a fair setting, anything I would have done after blindfolding you with this," he held up the cloth, "would have meant nothing to you. You would have denied I'm simply better than you, and I understand. It's a hard thing to swallow, getting beaten up by a wimp."

Hector's grin reminded Jared of a hyena, but he kept his thoughts to himself. One thing was true about Hector; he could beat Jared with his pinky finger, one hand tied behind his back. And Jared would have never believed it without the two-hour-demonstration Hector had staged for him.

Sighing deeply, he leaned forward until his head was in Hector's reach. As the man blindfolded him, he continued with his explanation. "We could do this without a blindfold, but it takes much longer and you don't have that kind of time. The longer your pack stays around, the more agitated we all get. It would be easier if you'd just agree to send them away another twenty or thirty more miles, but I guess you're still dead-set on them staying close?"

The idea itself made Jared growl anxiously, and Hector sighed in reply.

"Fine, but don't come whining to me when you start to feel the pressure. I warned you, and you didn't listen."

In the total darkness the blindfold provided, Jared could hear Hector step away and then stop. His voice sounded so much clearer, now that Jared couldn't focus his eyes on him. It sent nervous shivers down his back.

"Now we can start for real. For today, it's enough if you manage to touch me by instinct alone. Don't bother trying to hear me, just... feel."

It sounded easy enough, but it didn't take Jared long to discover just how little experience with feeling he actually had, and how hard it was to do the simplest tasks when 'blind'. A feeling quite close to paranoia set in after just a few heartbeats of fruitlessly fumbling through the air in front of him. Hector actually swore he wasn't moving away when Jared was close to him, but he somehow still ended up a few inches short whenever he tried to grab him.

Jared couldn't tell how long the session went on like this, but when Hector finally tapped his shoulder and announced that this would be enough for a day, the sun sat quite low on the horizon.

The gym hall stank of sweat and frustration, especially his own; it was something Jared hadn't been able to smell before, so that was a little victory. Exhaustion and tiredness flooded him, both having nothing to do with physical exertion; it was his mind, his conscious, that had expended all energy and was now howling for sleep. And all of this for nothing to show. He threw a puzzled glance at Hector.

"Am I especially untalented? I didn't manage to touch you once," he asked, trying not to sound too insecure. He felt like a failure.

Hector shrugged, and walked over to the entrance door to switch off the lights. Instantly, the gym hall was shrouded in gray-ish twilight. "No, that's okay. You did good, and I told you before: I'm trying to rush you through this as fast as I can. You're bound to feel the pressure, but you're progressing neither too slow nor especially fast. Don't worry."

Jared followed him out grudgingly. Easier said than done.

At least he'd have a few more weeks to get the hang of it.

~*George*~

Having another person around twenty-four-seven was both nice and necessary, but some days George would have gladly strangled Mary. This was one of those days, and had he not been wheelchair-bound and susceptible to falls, he would have fled the house the minute his housekeeper brought up Darwin.

"You know, Carl is furious," Mary commented, and the oatmeal turned to ashes in George's mouth. They were sitting in the sun room, or breakfast-nook, whatever architects called the niche George had paid a fortune for to make his late wife happy, and outside birds were chirping in the cool morning air as the sun streamed through the ceiling-high windows. George had heard all about how Darwin and his boyfriend had gotten away, but he still felt a constant thread of dread whenever he thought too hard about his son.

Those few words were enough to quicken his pulse. "Is he, now?" he mumbled half-heartedly, trying his best to hide his emotions. His hunger was gone, but if he didn't eat, Mary would try to shove something much worse down his throat just to keep him ticking. A healthy, balanced diet was key to his prolonged life, the doctors had said so on many occasions, and Mary usually was having none of his theatrics when it came to nourishment.

"Now that you mention it, I can't remember the last time Carl was in a good mood, but that may be because he excluded me from any and all pack business. I wouldn't know what mood he's been in the last few days."

Mary clicked her tongue chidingly. "Don't whine at me, George, we are all but married in the flesh, but I'm not your mother. You already endangered Carmen by having her snoop around for you, that's enough suspense to have me worried about my niece and your health. She'll be coming by tomorrow afternoon, that's got to be soon enough."

Throwing her a moody glance, George poked around in his oatmeal. He hated having to use Carmen to do his fact-search just as much as Mary did and would much rather have gone himself, but his body prevented that very effectively. There were other reasons adding to his mood, though, and Mary was one of them.

George raised his gaze from his breakfast and stared at her. "Why didn't you tell me Darwin had problems with Carl before... this?" he asked, trying to keep his voice calm and only barely succeeding.

"Why didn't you notice it yourself?" Mary shot back angrily, but her eyes flinched. "I haven't known him for long, I thought he always acted strange after pack meetings, and you didn't react to it. How was I supposed to know?"

Yes, why hadn't he noticed? George slumped as much as he could in his wheelchair and let go of the spoon. It clattered over the brim of the bowl and onto the table, loud enough to make both of them jump a little, but for a few moments, the ensuing silence stretched on. He should have noticed, because now that he looked back, it had all been too obvious not to. One day a few years ago, Darwin had started hiding after pack meetings and he often had stayed long after George and the other pack members had been sent home. Carl had started asking a lot of questions about Darwin's behavior, about signs for dominance or submission, about his friends, about everything, but George had taken it as a sign of caring from his Alpha. Then after he had gotten sick and missed months of pack meetings, things had taken an even more puzzling turn. Darwin had gotten into a lot of fights, which wasn't unusual for a young dominant trying to find his place, but nobody could tell George with whom Darwin had fought so hard that he left blood stains on his bed sheets and missed a few days of school here and there. Darwin hadn't wanted to give away names, telling George it would leave a bad impression if his wheelchair-bound father interfered on his behalf, and as soon as Darwin had started going to college, the fighting had stopped, at least almost.

"You know," George mumbled as realization hit him, "now that I think of it, if Darwin has always been a submissive, like they are claiming now, who did he fight with all through high school? Submissives don't fight for ranks, but there he was, week after week, bloody and beat up, and he never told me who did it. And he always was nervous before pack meetings, and hid for hours after he came home. After those long talks with Carl, he always kept to himself, saying he had gotten into some kind of disagreement with another dominant."

Mary stopped eating and simply stared at him wide eyed for a few moments, her own food forgotten. She blinked a few times, then she shook her head adamantly. "No. No, you don't think that Carl- No, he wouldn't do such a thing. I mean, why should Carl of all people beat on a submissive-"

Mary paused and blanched at her own words. "You don't think that all those disappeared submissives might..."

Pulse in his tongue, George swallowed and tried to think around the fluttering pangs in his chest. "Darwin knew how much I think- thought- of Carl, and you know how he is. Puts everyone's best interests ahead of his own, and then he stops as soon as everyone else is taken care of."

They stared at each other, too horrified by their own words to move, afraid of looking away and breaking the fragile balance between uncertainty and panic. George felt as pale and shivery as Mary looked, but his heart was still beating, his breath still flowing in and out and nothing hurt. Maybe he had to spell it out aloud to feel the full impact?

"So Carl made dozens of people, all the submissives of our pack, flee or disappear, and Darwin was only safe as long as Carl thought he was dominant," George said with a voice void of feeling. "He finally found someone who loves him, and at the same time he was forced to reveal the one secret that might endanger him." The admission left his lips numb.

"Oh my god," Mary suddenly gasped, clenching the collar of her blouse tighly as she stared wide-eyed at the table, "George, what about those other incidents? Your mother, Giselle, Carl's wife, do you think..."

She didn't finish. George made a wailing sound, too soft to be a scream, too loud to be a whisper, and wiped his bowl of oatmeal off the table with enough force to have it clatter against the wall and roll a few feet until the dish settled. Thick clumps of oatmeal stuck to the wall and the floor, leaving a trail similar to blood splatter.

Mary was off her seat before the bowl came to a stop, but George's fist slamming down on the table stopped her before she finished reaching out to him. He had never felt so furious in his life, and although he hadn't been able to shift shape for years, he felt the familiar, burning tingle crawl over his back.

"I will not have this man ruin my family anymore!" he shouted, eyes bloodshot with his speeding pulse. "I do not care anymore, I have nothing to lose left if my boy dies, but I'll be damned if I sit by and watch, not knowing what really is going on in this pack!"

Amidst his impotent outbreak, the phone rang.

~*Darwin*~

The sign next to the road was big, hand-painted and old enough to have lichen grow on its back. 'Renton Welcomes You!' it read, a loopy, pastel hued font sitting amidst trees and something that probably was meant to resemble a pond. Darwin sat behind the wheel of Jared's car, staring at the sign, the road side ditch and the battered phone booth a little off to the side. The more he scanned that small patch of earth, the more his head canted to the side. His yaw already hurt from the steady tension in his facial muscles, but he realized he must have started squinting, too, because now there were black spots dancing in his vision.

The sun was still up, if already low on the horizon and the road went straight for miles, but he just couldn't get himself to get out of the car, as if someone or something might jump him as soon as his toes touched the asphalt. At first, he had tried to convince himself that all this tension was just because of that local werewolf that had tried to kidnap him three days ago, but in those next thirty minutes of weighing his options with the phone booth, he had realized that he was just too chicken to call his father.

After all, that was the reason why he had come here instead of watching Jared sleep, uh-gain, wasn't it?

It wasn't. Well, it was one of the very good reasons he had found to leave the cabin hurriedly, but not the only one.

Two nights had come and gone since that day at the shopping center, and everything had fallen into a daily routine. Jared left the cabin at sunrise to head for Canada and train with that Hector guy he always talked about. Harry and Darwin took turns cooking breakfast and Rayne came back from his patrol, staying just long enough to scarf down some food and then fall into bed. Darla spent her day glaring at Darwin and following him around like a stalker whenever she had a moment of respite, but at least for the six hours between breakfast and lunch, she had to patrol the perimeter of their impromptu pack district. Darwin was sure she slacked off most of the time, because he somehow always found her watching him and 'accidentally' showing up wherever he went, but he couldn't- wouldn't- say anything about it, not even to Jared. Harry spent his days pining for Rayne, cooking or cleaning obsessively and giving Darwin the silent treatment, and when Jared finally came home either late in the afternoon or sometimes late at night, he'd just have enough energy to gulp down some food, and then fall into bed fully clothed.

There were so many unspoken accusations hanging around that cabin, so many unclear feelings and so much baggage, Darwin felt like choking on all of it. And to top it off, he had nobody to talk to about any of it. He had wronged every single one of them, and each of them had their reasons for hating him or at least staying away. He simply couldn't talk to Harry about Darla or Rayne, and Jared hadn't managed a single sentence since last morning.

When he had told Darla- who had been on watch- what he planned to do, she hadn't even shrugged. Darwin knew that Rayne would be furious with her for letting him go out all by himself, but right now he was relieved that she hadn't tried to stop him, or tried to come with him. She probably would have killed him and left him in a ditch, anyway.

Oh, yes, there were so many reasons for the tension in his jaw and shoulders, and for the increasingly tight knot in his stomach. And there were very good reasons why Darwin had decided to call his father, even though he knew he wouldn't be able to tell the whole truth. If he could just bring himself to leave the car-

Someone knocked at the window right next to his face. Darwin twitched and turned his head, trying to breathe through his suddenly tight throat and the metallic taste in his mouth as he stared at Darla's expressionless face. What was she doing here? Had she followed him? Oh god, is she finally going to murder me?

"Are you gonna keep staring, or are you getting out and stop being a wimp?" she huffed and the corners of her mouth pulled down into a derisive sneer. Then she stepped away from the car and turned around, keeping a watchful eye on their surroundings.

Darwin sighed and rubbed his neck, then he pulled the keys out of the ignition. In reality, Darla could punch through the door if she wanted to hurt him, so there really was no use in hiding in the car.

Ignoring how weak his knees felt, he slid out of the car, closed the driver-side door behind him and leaned against it. Darla kept her back to him, but he could see her rub her arms against the cold, or whatever emotions she felt with him standing behind her.

"What are you doing here?" he asked, because he honestly didn't know what else to say. He already knew she hated him, and with good reason, but hate was nothing but a feeling. Some people could hate and still act civil, other people didn't even reach that level of disdain before they exploded. With Darla, he just wasn't sure. She was just too hard to read.

Darla didn't turn around, but she moved her weight from one foot to the other, stood straighter.

"Did you really tell no-one but me where you were going?" She sounded suspicious, but there was curiosity in her posture.

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