*Warning: Strong language*
His scent was just as powerful as he remembered. It stayed plastered to everything he was near. The intensity of it in the air made it feel like he was always right behind him.
It kept him on edge.
He was sure Chris could smell the fear radiating from him. But every time he passed by him as he helped unload his trailer, he was ignored. Not one bit of eye contact today. Barely a word. Just mumbling.
Stormy blue eyes under a furrowed brow. Tousled ashen blond hair somehow stayed swept back. Clean, short trimmed, but full beard. Built like a stag. Muscular. Toned. A killing machine. It all made him look older than twenty eight.
Chris was a scary wolf.
He hoped up onto the top of the landing. Already his legs felt rubbery. The trailer was mostly empty now. There hadn't been much. But there were enough boxes to require a decent amount of trips. Walking through the master suite door, he set the box on top of some others in the far corner. He took a deep breath to catch some energy before starting all over again.
When he got back down the stairs, he took a short detour to the kitchen. Cautiously he stepped around the maze of cardboard boxes strewn across the tile floor. The pack of meat he'd pulled out earlier seemed to have thawed out nicely on the counter. He poked it a couple times. Still cold, but consumable. Now all he needed was a knife. Trying to remember where he'd been keeping one, he opened drawers. Being in Chris's cabin nearly all week should have made it easier to remember.
But it was hard with his presence around. It was making him second guess himself.
With the blade finally in hand, he carefully sliced it open over the sink. Cursing himself, he quickly snatched a mug from the counter to catch the bloody liquids dripping out. It was not a time to waste anything. After he was sure that was all it had, he slipped it back onto the plate it'd been thawing on.
Just as he cut into it, he heard shuffling noises. He paused to glance over his shoulder and around the ice chest. Just a glimpse of Chris before he disappeared from the kitchen doorway. With a short sigh of relief, he went back to cutting.
He didn't know how he was going to offer this to him. He had to be hungry. They'd been at it all afternoon. Not even a break since he'd gotten home from classes.
He should have brought more vegetables in his lunch bag. The small chunks of liver and intestine hadn't done much to tide him over til now.
With the meat roughly cubed, he set it on the table. Grabbing one, he popped it into his mouth. His stomach growled and his mouth watered as he chewed the stringy meat. He wanted more, but he figured he'd let Chris know first.
Footsteps coming down the stairs. He swallowed both the food and apprehension. Peering around the corner he watched him come down the stairs. There was a ring of sweat around the collar of his black cotton shirt. His long basketball shorts ruffled around his knees. Worn tennis shoes hitting each step. His eyes were still down.
“Hey, uh, got some meat on the table for ya.” He forced out.
He hit the bottom landing. At last his eyes met his. His heart quivered in anxiety as they slowly looked over his face. He gave him a sheepish grin.
Chris cleared his throat.
“Thanks.” He said flatly.
Chris brushed by him as he headed into the kitchen. The moment of fear quickly had him striding back out to the trailer. He settled into the routine again. When he walked past the kitchen the first couple times, he stole glances at him. He was buried in his phone. The chewing of his jaw made him look like he was brooding over something.
Probably job hunting. Something low key. His last job out here had him working as a farm hand. Lots of cattle farms and horse breeders.
When he came down the stairs after the millionth time, he noticed Chris had vanished. There was half a plate of meat left. His stomach rejoiced. Settling down in a chair, he pulled out his phone. Munching on a bit of gristle, he went about texting his gaming group chat.
Dan: Game night friday?
Slow response. Grabbed another piece. A blip.
Dave: Fuck yeah, your place?
Dan: Nah, moving.
Dan: Yeah, new roommate.
Jack: That monster hunter you were talking about?
Dan: Yeah, that guy.
Dave: Why the hell you wonna live with him?
Jack: Yeah, wtf?
Dan: Weird story, don't feel like explaining. Bout time Ric.
Ric: Piss off Dan.
Dan: Missed you too. Whose house then?
Jack: You know how my mom is.
Dave: Gma in the spare bedroom this wk.
Ric: Fuuuuuuuuu…rlly you guys?
Dan: Hey, I'll own it next time, promise.
Ric: Fuck you, Dan. Damnit, fine.
Dan: Thx, We owe you one.
Ric: You all owe me a shit ton of game nights. Plus beer for that noise violation warning.
Dave: Such a lil bitch today, Amy didn't put out?
Jack: Awww, someone's got blue balls.
Ric: Fuckin assholes! All of you!
He snickered as they continued to harass Ric while simultaneously deciding a time and what to bring. By the time he'd finished all the meat on the plate, everything was set. Taking a deep breath, he shoved his phone back into the pocket of his shorts and took the plate. He shot back the mug of liquid before he went about washing both in the sink.
“Let's get your stuff before it gets too dark.”
He jumped at his voice. Look over his shoulder. Chris was standing in the kitchen doorway.
“Uh, we can do it tomorrow. Kinda tired.” He replied.
Those eyes looked him over. A nod.
“What time will you be here tomorrow?” Chris asked.
He refocused on the dishes.
“Twoish. Have a morning class, then work on campus.”
“Your old place?”
“Yeah, shouldn't take long. Don't have a lot of stuff. It'll fit in the car.”
“We'll use my truck.”
He set the dishes on a kitchen towel to dry. Putting on a half smile, he turned.
“You have a set of keys?”
He patted his pocket, “Yup.”
“See you tomorrow then.” His voice got quiet.
“Alright, sounds good. Don't let the bed bugs bite, too hard.” He said through an awkward laugh.
No reaction. He disappeared again.
Taking a deep breath, he realized he'd been gripping the counter. Letting go, he flexed his hands to settle his nerves. Walking out of the house, he felt his gut sinking. Tonight would be the last time under his dad's roof.
Sleep didn't come easy, class was hard to focus on, and work was a welcome distraction.
He strictly stared out the passenger window. The silence was uncomfortable. His scent was drowning him.
How the hell was he going to get used to it?
It was a huge relief to hop down from his truck when they arrived at the cabin. He waited for Chris to pick up a box, and then he did the same.
Following him up the stairs. Anxiety and fear started flooding his system. He didn't want to think about tonight.
“What room you want?” Chris asked as he joined him at the top.
He was looking between two doors across the hall from the master bedroom.
A frown of confusion.
“I'm not…gonna be…in the same…bedroom as you?” He stuttered.
Chris's head snapped to look at him. His eyes were exceptionally stormy. He shrunk slightly under his stare.
“No. This isn't some 'forty colors of black' or whatever kinda bullshit. I'm not gonna force you to do something you don't wonna do.”
An anvil was lifted off his shoulders. Relief escaped as a smile across his face. Straightening his back, he glanced at each door. He looked back at him.
“Which one's bigger?” He asked in cautious excitement.
He tilted his head to the left.
“That one. It's an actual room. The other one is more of an office.”
With a prance he strategically gripped the door knob and balanced the box to open the door with one hand. After setting it down in the middle of the space, he took it all in. It was decent sized bedroom. Nice closet. He could definitely get used to this.
While Chris set down his box, he took a peek into the Jack and Jill bathroom. The wall of the other room sparked an idea.
“Hey, uh, do you plan on using the other room?”
“Not really, no.”
“Think I could use it as a gaming room? ”
More excitement rose in his chest. He looked back at him with a grin.
Chris' eyes flashed. He toned down his smile.
“Thanks.” He said in gratefulness.
Chris nodded and stepped out.
He quickly gave into his curiosity. Crossing the bridge between rooms, he stepped into the space. Twirling on his heel he started filling every square inch with all the items he had in his mind's eye. The arrangement possibilities were endless.
This wasn't going to be so bad after all. Actually, this was better than he could've predicted.