June 15th, 2008
Charlie, dazed by all the new information elected to go home, think on things and contact the others later. They’d all been through this before and they knew that this was really overwhelming. He needed time and if they crowded him, they would only succeed in driving him away. So a cab was called and Charlie returned to his condo.
Odin, too, having little to no overnight supplies handy, elected to return to his house. He was planning on purchasing a new one and selling his old place as soon as he could as it was never a wise practice for the alpha to leave his new territory undefended. They bid him good night and expected to see him later that morning.
Shayd had offered to let any of the pack stay at her place. And by that she meant this morning but also any time at all. She told the others she planned on making copies of her key for them all to use, but for now would put a spare one in a place they could find in case they needed in and she wasn’t home. Fang remembered she had been a hard sell on joining the pack to begin with, but he could see that now that they were together, she was all in.
Of course, there weren’t a lot of sleeping options at her apartment. She had her own bed to sleep on, and the dilapidated old couch in the main living area. But at least, she had plenty of blankets and sheets, even if some were older and a little worn.
“Well guys,” Shayd said, “I’m bushed.” She presented them with the large pile of sheets, blankets and pillows. “Pick any place you want to sleep around here.”
“Okay,” Cerai said with a nod. She took off her jean jacket, draped it over the arm of the sofa. In a single, practiced movement, she pulled her top over her head. Beneath it she wore a bra that was slightly too small, and it did nothing to hide the tattoos that swirled around her torso like a lover’s embrace.
Shayd didn’t bat an eye but looked at the body art. “Nice tats!” she said. But in truth she was a little distracted. Her mind was on things that happened a year ago, things that still preyed upon her soul. After being alone for so long, truly alone, she craved the presence of Uratha. It was a feeling she’d buried for too long.
Her eyes flicked toward Fang. She stuffed the blankets and pillows she was holding into his arms and then grabbed Cerai’s hand. “Come on. There’s really only one good place to sleep in this dump.” She turned to head toward her bedroom.
Cerai gently pulled her hand out of Shayd’s grasp and retrieved her clothes, then followed her into the bedroom.
Fang paced and tried to think ugly thoughts. Tried to forget the clinging shirt, the undersized bra, teh delicous curves that had just passed him to go to bed with each other.
He tried his utmost…Odin in a thong, Odin on a thong, GAH!!!
At last he caved and took the only option left to him, Fang went into the bathroom and locked the door.
Shayd made her way to the bed, dropping clothes haphazardly as she went until she was wearing nothing but her underwear and bra, then slipped under the covers. She slid over and made room for Cerai without giving the newer pack member eye contact out of respect. There was a minor rustling under the covers and her undergarments, too, joined the other articles on the floor.
Cerai finished removing her clothes and put them in a neat pile before sliding naked into bed behind Shayd. She put a light hand on the back of the woman’s shoulder. “I will hold you, if you like.”
Shayd propped herself up for a moment, looking at Cerai with a thoughtful expression and her head cocked to the side. Finally, having reached some internal decision, she laid down and turned away from Cerai, letting her new friend touch her.
It had been a long, long time. The last time she’d felt this kind of contact was when she was with her first pack. Before they all died. Before she ran and became the only survivor. The old guilt and pain threatened to overwhelm her again, but she forced it down like bitter medicine and made her body slowly let go its tension.
Cerai pulled Shayd close, spooning her from behind as if protecting her from the world. She held Shayd, cradling her body to give comfort, both physical, emotional, and even perhaps spiritual.
From the bathroom they heard the sound of running water.
Cerai laughed softly. “I take it Fang’s little wolf tends to rule him?”
Shayd laughed quietly but with a definite note of mischief in her voice.