Eli lay on his side on the back porch with his knees pulled close to his chest. He’d been awake for most of Cameron’s, and the pack’s, training. But the sun came out, hitting him in just the right spot, and keeping his eyes open became a battle. Besides, seeing Shane knock everyone on their asses over and over got repetitive. And Cameron was pretty far away from all the action.
He dreamed he was somewhere else, in a forest, with grasses and twigs under his body. Then, he dreamed he was somewhere else again. The ground under him was hard, like the porch, but the world swayed underneath him. He could feel vibrations against his ear, like a rumbling growl coming from the earth.
Someone stepped close to Eli, waking him. They draped something heavy over his shoulders, and Cameron’s woodland scent overtook him. He felt a soft kiss against his cheek, and then Cameron lay at his back, curling his larger body around Eli to hold him. Eli moved his head, and Cameron slipped his arm under for use as a pillow.
“Finished up?” Eli asked, sleepy.
Cameron nuzzled the back of his neck, taking in a deep breath. Eli could pick up the smell of sweat and mud too, and there was a little musk, that Eli knew meant his wolf was close to the surface. Eli had gotten better at feeling the wolf when it was pushing against Cameron’s skin. He’d also gotten good at interacting with the wolf part too. It was easy, almost intuitive, he just had to tilt his jaw a certain way, and Cameron was quick to fill the space with a nuzzle, and a kiss.
Cameron, his wolf—the distinction was hard to make—liked to scent mark him, even if he held himself back from physical bites.
“You can sleep,” Cameron reassured him.
“You’re in everyone’s way.” Oliver pointed out from the lawn.
Cameron growled, his arm vibrating reminded Eli of his dream, and the growl he’d heard in it. Eli opened his eyes, focusing on it. His dreams were often of strange places. He was always sleeping in them, but there were people around him, and the scents were foreign.
Oliver was crouched a few feet away, peering right into Eli’s face.
“What do you want?” Eli grumbled, pulling on Cameron for protection.
A quick growl shot toward Oliver, who answered it with an annoyed look. “You smell like a wolf.”
“There are a million wolves here.”
“Yeah, but it’s definitely a you scent.” Oliver replied. He glanced at Cameron. “Obviously you’re getting it too.”
Eli uncurled, moving onto his back so he could peek at Cameron’s face. Like he thought, it was shining eyes that regarded him. “Do I?”
Cameron had to shake the wolf part off to answer, and his eyes dimmed to a human-green. “It’s already fading. I’ve noticed it a few times.”
“You have?” Oliver asked before Eli did.
Cameron stayed gazing at Eli. “When you’re sleeping.”
Eli digested that. “Have you ever seen the soul while I’m sleeping?” He rubbed his chest. Usually he didn’t notice, but when he focused, he could feel it sitting there. Like now, it felt like he should be touching the chain, and not smooth skin. Or, he should find the pendant, and not the bump of his breastbone.
“We should have Monroe take a look,” Oliver suggested.
Eli had already been x-rayed twice, had his blood drawn at least four times, and undergone examinations so invasive Cameron would have lost his head had he been present for them. Eli shuffled close to Cameron, and pressed his face into the crook of his neck. He felt Cameron tensing protectively as he looped his arm around Eli’s shoulders. “No,” Cameron answered for him.
Eli only just about heard Oliver’s remark, “Goddamn subs.”
Louder, Oliver said, “This isn’t something to ignore. The soul could be doing something to your body. Humans shouldn’t smell like wolves, and, you’ve been sleeping a lot. Like, all the time. Noah sounds worried about you, and I bet your dad is too, and Jenny. Shouldn’t you let Monroe take a look, so we can figure this out.”
Had Eli been sleeping a lot?
“Noah was talking to you?”
Oliver looked a little guilty, and hesitated before he answered, “yes.”
“Or was he talking to Kaylen, and you listened in?”
“He smelled stressed, and I figured that had something to do with you.”
Shane approached, “Eli.” He greeted. “What did you think of training?”
“Looked fun.” Eli tried not to yawn, but truth was, now he had the sun and Cameron as his own personal hot box. His eyelids were heavy, and he fought sleep once more. It didn’t matter that the porch was hard wood, his body wanted sleep.
“We can nap in my room,” Cameron suggested.
“The sun—” Eli started to object.
“Is going to stream in my window anyway, plus, I have blankets and pillows, and if you’re still cold, I can shift.”
“My own personal rug.”
Cameron growled a little, and nudged Eli’s cheek with his nose.
Eli grinned to himself. “Sounds good to me.”
Like a zombie, Cameron led him upstairs to his room. Eli’s time in the boarding house was always monitored closely by his dad, and he followed Jenny’s rule from before—hourly check-ins. Eli fumbled with his phone, sending a text, and then he was sprawled out on Cameron’s double bed. The room was clean, and when Eli took in a deep breath, it smelt like home.
Cameron leaned over him. Eli didn’t open his eyes, but asked, “What is it?”
“It’s strong, the wolf scent.”
Eli peeked through one eye up at Cameron. He had a serious look about him, his brows drawn down in concern, his curls a dark halo around his face.
“The only change is that I’m sleepy, and my doctor—my human one, not Monroe—says the meds do that. I’m still on them for my wrists.” Eli explained. It had been… two months? More? Since the rogue had broken into Eli’s home. The only lingering damage was to his wrists. The doctor said the muscles were repaired, but every time they had a check up Eli reported the same thing; his wrists ached, a lot. Most of his joints did. Until he took those painkillers, and then he was fine again.
Cameron had a knowing, worried look.
“He couldn’t find anything,” Eli said. “And I’m sick of the tests.”
“I know you are. Everyone is. It’s why I can’t even sleep through the night without dad checking on me at least three times. He’s even convinced Noah to sleep in my room a few times he’s so paranoid.”
Cameron’s worried look dipped. His eyes glimmered down on Eli. “Noah’s been sleeping with you?”
Eli rolled his eyes. He attempted to shuffled under the covers, but Cameron caught his abdomen, pressing down, and pinning him to his back. “How often does this happen?”
“It was once or twice, Noah gets annoyed about it too, so he always objects.”
“If Marcus wants someone to sleep in the bed with you, he can call me.”
“My dad isn’t going to call my boyfriend to sleep with me.”
Cameron moved onto the bed, on all fours above Eli, his eyes starting to go that luminous colour of green. “I’m your mate.” He was almost growling.
Eli regarded Cameron. The thing about calling on his protective side to defend him with the other wolves, was having that possessive side so close to the surface as well. Sometimes, a lot of the time, Eli enjoyed Cameron’s possessive side. But, there were times, like this, where the logic behind his possessive streak was lost on Eli.
“He’s my brother, Cameron.” Eli replied, dryly.
Cameron’s eyes shone brighter, instead of dimming. The hand on his abdomen stroked back and forward, and pressed down harder. “I already put up with that mutt in your bed.”
“He’s a dog. And, he keeps me warm when you’re not there. I don’t like being in the room alone after everything that happened.”
Cameron’s look got clouded. He ducked his head, moving so he could nuzzle Eli’s cheek. The affection in the gesture offset his unhappy expression. “Stay with me here instead,” He said. “Nobody will ever touch you again.” He pressed his lips close to Eli’s ear.
“My dad might have something to say about that,” Eli said.
Cameron nipped the soft patch of skin under Eli’s ear, and growled his displeasure. Eli let out a heavy breath. Cameron moved his hand from stroking Eli’s abdomen, to between his legs.
“And I’m a minor, so I can’t—mhm.” Eli’s eyelids fought themselves closed. Cameron moved his lips down the line of Eli’s throat, into the crook of his neck, and grated his skin over the older marks. He was cupping Eli, fondling him, as he left his claims on Eli’s skin. Eli drew his legs in instinctively, and the top of his thighs bumped into the bottom of Cameron’s.
“It doesn’t work that way the real world,” Eli managed to get out.
“In the human world you mean,” Cameron propped his weight up on one elbow, and his face hovered above Eli’s. “I’m not human, and we’re mates not boyfriends.” His eyes were shining. “And whether you’re a human, a wolf, or something in between, you’re mine. And I’m yours too.”
“I don’t care what anyone says about it.”
Cameron’s hand moved under his sweatpants and slipped under the fabric of Eli’s boxers. Eli squeezed his forearm, stopping his caress only a little. “Close the door first,” he said, realising that no matter how this conversation went, whether a bitter fight or declarations of love, Cameron’s caress wouldn’t end.
Cameron’s smile was crooked, and wicked.
“Cameron,” Eli took in a sharp breath, groaned. His fingers were teasing in him in long, drawn out, strokes.
“Don’t be such a bastard.” Eli objected, putting everything into his glare. Cameron seemed to hardly notice it, he dipped down, silencing Eli with a hard kiss, his tongue sweeping in to dominate. Eli pushed on his chest, making Cameron chuckle, and when Eli could hardly breathe, he broke the kiss.
Eli lay his head to the side, dodging another kiss, and Cameron peppered kisses just beneath the corner of Eli’s jaw, that lovely spot that made all his insides curl up. His eyelids glued shut, and he panted out groans as Cameron pushed his sweatpants down and worked him harder. Heat was pooling in his abdomen when Cameron suddenly stopped.
Eli whined, turning to kiss Cameron, and nudged his hand to keep going. Cameron took his wrist and guided his hand to himself, letting Eli feel his bulge. Eli’s mind was a mask of heat. Right now, he didn’t really care that the door was open. Cameron, his wolf, wanted it to be known beyond any doubt that Eli was his, and a way of doing that was showing they were intimate. As it was, Cameron’s body still sheltered Eli from view if any oblivious individual did happen to walk by the door.
Eli, with his lips lightly touching Cameron’s, licked his boyfriends bottom lip. “Will you please close the door?” he asked, nicely, and needy.
Cameron grumbled. Leaving Eli, and returning a millisecond later.
Eli tugged Cameron’s sweatpants down, taking him in both hands, and stroked. Cameron’s eyes shut. His mouth moved into the crook of Eli’s neck, while his hand stroked the length of Eli’s thigh. His fingers cupped his behind, and squeezed. Eli lifted his hips, and let Cameron stretch him out.
When he felt ready he stopped his caress, and rolled onto his stomach. Cameron eased his weight on top, pushing Eli’s sweatpants down to his thighs. A strong arm eased around Eli’s chest, coming up around to hold his shoulder from the front. With all his clothes still on, Eli felt more restricted than usual. His sweat was getting caught on the material, making him feel damp all over.
Cameron guided his tip into Eli. Despite the damp feeling, it was dry going in, and chaffed, making Eli grunt his discomfort. His cheek was flat on the bed, and he sucked in hard breaths, heat flaring in his body. It chaffed, but he arched into Cameron, pushing him deeper.
Cameron flexed his hips, easing in all at once, slow and smooth, and let out a pleasured moan. His body settled down hard on Eli, his chest sitting on Eli’s back, his erection buried inside, his hips keeping it there, his thighs lying flat against the outside of Eli’s legs. His free arm slipped between the bed and Eli’s chest, sliding up and hooking his fingers onto his shoulder.
Eli understood the positioning when Cameron started moving, and his grip on Eli’s shoulders kept him from being thrown forward. Eli focused on breathing—there was nothing else for him to do, Cameron had chosen a position where he was pinned down hard to the bed, and couldn’t move—but it was difficult work to expand his lungs with Cameron thrusting his weight into him, on him.
“I can’t—” Eli got out.
Cameron was breathing harder than Eli, his groans heated. His hips stopped moving, “Go on,” he said, voice husky.
“I can’t breathe.”
“Sorry,” Cameron let go of his shoulder with one arm, and used that to pick some of his weight off Eli. He buried his face against the back of Eli’s, lips against the nape of his neck. “Better?”
Cameron moved again. Eli was rubbed against the sheets with each thrust, and Cameron let out moans from deep in his throat.
“I need to—” Cameron growled suddenly, hips pitching forward—Eli got no more warning, and teeth sunk into the back of his neck. Eli yelped. Warm cascaded all over his skin, starting from the spot Cameron’s teeth were latched on, and heat exploded everywhere. His cry was hoarse, as Cameron’s entire body lurched forward, moving in powerful strokes as he orgasmed, his grunts into the back of Eli’s neck shook him.
Eli couldn’t breathe and was dimly aware that he was a whole lot louder than Cameron, as his orgasm tore through him like a train, coming from deep within, and going on and on, as Cameron moved.
Cameron moved until Eli’s pleasure petered out, and he collapsed. His hips thrust forward several time for good measure, then went still, his dick still inside. They were both breathing hard. Eli could barely feel his fingers.