Drew waited for her with his hair swept to the left side of his face and his trimmed facial hair making him look well worn out like a favorite leather jacket. But in his mind, he was nowhere near as cool as his stance channeled. Nerves fried, his cells bad. Thus he’d explain his present state: as what happened when acid met your back-- a lotta bad. Thus he’d put it if someone asked him, if someone forced him, if someone suggested this idea to him and in this process of collapsing in on himself as a star and being reborn as something else, he welcomed the distraction from his panic that this sensation gave. He focused on it, focused on all the conversations he could be having with all the people. All the lot curious, ever keen on peeking from around the corners. He imagined it, and after he was done imagining, another date with girlfriend neared, and though he’d been together all spring, Drew still looked at their dates as something novel.
He found himself meeting with something familiar, when it came to her. It was like minutes into being together he slipped into a face raw, dressed in such a state of nothingness that all the emotions that typically brewed hell beneath the skin were there were out on display.
He must have looked like an excellent future maniac, for sure. The right sort of fidgety, the type of a person who could pace like he had been for the past minutes for five more, and then another, and another, all his fives until he was at a hundred and he had not stopped. Talia would be showing up soon, she would be fifteen minutes early if she arrived now but suddenly, Drew was hurt by a split desire to both see her turn away, and the fear of her absence. He wanted her here, because if she didn’t arrive, his world was dead; stuck in a state of convicted uselessness as he’d explain why she’d not shown herself. He didn’t want her here because these thoughts made him sound too selfish of a man. He wanted her here because he did not want to be thinking this here.
He wanted her here, because he loved her, as he had told her, and because she both twisted and churned the pit of his stomach, leaving him with a state of profoundly sick, and also soothed and caressed his wrinkled heart; if it were the container where his soul rested, and not in the head, a single touch of Talia caused all its age to even out; it would appear deaged, kind and youthful again and like only yesterday burdened to carry in itself a soul of a single man. It’d be in a state of battered by this day.
But it was there, and Drew wanted her here again for ten other reasons he didn’t waste time to spell, and he didn’t want her here, and also admitted that in the event something stopped her in her way, he’d act like the world left; silent and dark like without a sliver of her in this life, nothing made sense, nothing needed to try.
(You have Eileen.)
He was hearing a whisper in his head. It sounded a lot like his conscience and himself.
(And you have him, and her, and him, and him--)
And then, he was seeing his pack. He took this memory and locked it fast away; behind walls, behind walls of clay, then stone, then diamond. Behind the thickest sort of wall, that of denial. He locked it away until he was back here, checking his phone, and trying to calm himself.
This was not their first date. The night was late, the star outs, and it would be the first date that he’d been awarded full freedom; even though Talia was a safe choice for a partner, Law had made a point of kind of curfew just to make sure his ass didn’t have the time to get into problem.
Drew recalled that it had taken Law a week to realize that Drew didn’t wait to get into problem.
It waited to find him, every other day.
… Or so Drew wanted to explain it, pretending it was sweet, pretending as he had pretended at the moment of looking Law in the eye and trying to explain how within two hours on his own he had broken his arm.
I don’t know, stuff just happens.
The curfew was quickly gone.
Drew almost expected an ever irritated Talia show up with Law right behind her like a shadow not even bothering to act like one; too loud and bold whereas shadows tended to be mostly forgotten. He imagined that, since as it went, Law wasn’t too pleased with him; too stubborn, too willful, too everything Law tended to call him on occasion, before dismissing it and back on the job that made him their alpha, and their god. God. What a title.
But Drew imagined that, since in light of how little Law had trusted him when saying tonight, there was no curfew, but don’t fuck up and be careful, it would behoove him to come personally after all. All to make sure that one ofhis more recent wolves hadn’t gotten himself in trouble again, for the fifth fucking time this month, and the month had just begun.
It would make sense.
Talia showed up herself when she finally did, and Drew both froze, and relaxed. When he put his hands in his pockets, he felt a strange, strong and powerful heat in them. He clenched them. His heart skipped a beat, and then plummeted; it sang a heavy rhythm.
“Talia,” he greeted, although he had no awareness of greeting her at all. He didn’t have the memory. None was formed when it was happening. He stepped out to her, similarly unaware of the smile he’d fixed her, so many things it was that it was hard to pick; tense, and wound with emotion, deep and difficult, scared and adoring both all held captive by his expression-- his eyes carried the brunt of it, too dark, too animated. And he’d blink, tension in his chest, and as they neared each other, the heat in his hands grew, and he kept them stuffed deep in his pockets to prevent motion. It so-so worked out--
It didn’t work out at all.
He withdrew one hand just as he bent his head, just as he leaned then to do something, insanity, that strangers shouldn’t do in public. You’re not strangers, he heard something in his head say. Oh, right, he thought back, we’re not.
Still, he rubbed their foreheads in a greeting, his hand guilty and on her. But he’d caught it still from cupping her warm cheek-- his fingers snagged her jaw, and instead would wind down to her throat. Still, he didn’t abandon her. His touch, as though with a life of its own, would linger on her, encompassing all of her willowy shoulder, cupping it if he wouldn’t her cheek, her throat-- and her naked skin did something to him that kept his eyes warm.
He touched their noses.
And pecked her on her lips--
“Hey,” he greeted, his tone low and private, “we got here before the DJ’s. How was work?” He leaned back, his heart in his stomach. Still, he looked at her.
Right into her bold, strong eyes as a wordless fuck you to them for their power of keeping him tame and at bay.
Yeah, that was right. Fuck you. With this, with all him, for this, for all this, fuck you and he hated the heat, for a change, now in his gaze, so smoldering, so focused on her someone had hung the moon around her neck and he was a lost case.