It hasn’t been twenty-four hours, but Lir’s absence grows to be unbearable.
Wolf has spent half those hours pacing around his room, and the other portion trying to convince his parents to let him leave.
They won’t though. He overheard them speaking to their neighbors. They said Wolf was delusional. That he often had an issue with death. I’m afraid this isn’t new. Even as a child, he couldn’t handle it when the hare we rescued passed away. The fact that they compared Lir to an animal sickens him.
Someone knocks at his door. Of course, when Wolf says, “Come in,” and, “Yeah, I don’t mind,” the person he finds himself facing isn’t the one he hoped to see.
“Heard there was trouble in paradise.” Aston leans against his doorway. Wolf can’t really comprehend why he’s smirking, because the death of his boyfriend could never be a joke. Not in one moon. Not in ten. Not ever.
“What are you doing here?” He tries to keep his voice from swaying into a tone that implies he wants to punch Aston until his nose bleeds, but it’s a difficult task, for Wolf has never wanted to hit someone as badly he does now. “I thought you were out fishing with the others.”
The steps Aston takes towards him are lazy. He shuts the door behind them. It creaks, just like it did whenever Wolf would push Lir up against it as they kissed, every day, in this empty house, after classes. “Cheering you up,” Aston says. “You look like the world just ended.”
“It did,” the words are out of Wolf’s mouth before he can even consider them. He barely notices Aston taking a seat next to him, until the young man’s weight makes the mattress shift, then bend.
“It didn’t.” Aston rests his palm against the side of Wolf’s jaw. He gives it a gentle caress. It feels foreign. Wrong. Like a shirt two sizes too small. Wolf’s attention wanders to his friend’s fingers. They are still rested against his face.
Aston had often been touchy, even when they were children, he’d always find a way to grab Wolf’s hand; to give his arm a tug. But this feels different. It isn’t friendly. It lingers, like an unwelcome fire Wolf wants to extinguish.
Aston leans in. His breaths smell of the hot cocoa his mother always makes during Winter. “Cheering you up,” he repeats, as if Wolf hadn’t heard, or gotten the message the first time.
However, before Aston can press his lips to Wolf’s, Wolf has dug his knuckles into the bridge of his friend’s nose.
There is silence.
Wolf rises to his feet with an angered stomp. Although they did not kiss, he still finds himself wiping his mouth with the back of his sleeve. “Fuck you.” He’s never been this mad at Aston, and he’s not sure forgiveness for his friend could ever be on the table after this. “Fuck you, Aston.” He vaguely expects Aston to punch him in return, but Aston does nothing of the sort. He just spits out blood, that lands on the white fur of Wolf’s carpet nearby. Wolf thinks he’ll have to clean that later, and remember this moment of his life over again whilst doing so. It makes him hate Aston even more.
“You know,” Aston spits, again. “You could use me. I would let you.” Wolf wonders if his so-called friend ever respected him or his property. Or if it was just an act. Because he’s the governor’s son. And always takes, and takes, and takes around here, without any repercussions.
This is the first time he has tried to steal from Wolf. It should be no surprise, yet, it still burns; more-so than Wolf likes to admit. “Use you?” He cringes. “What does that even mean?” Wolf knows what it means. He isn’t stupid. But attacking Aston again when he hasn’t explicitly stated whether he’s offering his penis, or a shoulder to cry on, would give him the benefit of the doubt. It would make Wolf a criminal.
Aston rolls his eyes. He’s still smirking, somehow. “Come on, Wolfy. You’re not dense like Lir was. I mean”—he makes a rather vulgar motion towards his own genitals—“the quicker you move on, the quicker you’ll get over it. Right?”
There are three things that drive Wolf mad.
The one that tips his vision into a painted, vermillion blur, is that Lir is already past tense to Aston.
He cannot stand it.
Lir isn’t dead. Lir is alive, and Wolf will prove it, to anyone, and everyone.
As Wolf goes in again—with a fully formed fist and no mercy this time—he hears a crack. Although Aston had been relatively calm until now, he’s soon on the floor, curled up like a pill bug and holding his face, screaming curses Wolf didn’t know existed until this day.
It doesn’t take long for his parents to come rushing into the room. The sight of Wolf towering over Aston, with his knuckles covered in blood, does nothing to help his case.
He could try to make up an excuse.Wolf knows that maybe, just maybe, his mother would let it slide and convince his father to do the same.
But he doesn’t. He wants to get caught. He wants to be sent away, far from this place full of small minds, where no one understands.
“Aston was trying to convince me Lir was dead.” Wolf smirks, then tilts his head. “I got sick of hearing it,” he says. “So I punched him.”