House Call

Retire? He couldn't have been more than thirty years old and yet talk like that ... it made him sound a lot older. It piqued Thomas' curiousity but it wasn't his place to ask so he kept that to himself. He walked alongside Gabe, doing his best to give his full attention to his surroundings. But ... drats, his hair was still standing on end and his body kept growing warm at how close the other man was! He finally crossed his arms and tried not to look at Gabe ... which was so hard! The man was a brick wall for crying out loud! If Thomas had been a woman that would explain his attraction to him but he wasn't so ... so it was unnatural!

"Um ... You don't need to spend all this money on clothes. I can alter my dad's clothes to fit on you."
"Oh, it's fine. One of the job expenses type of thing. Besides, it's weird having someone else's scent on your clothes. Messes with tracking." He was muttering really, not paying overmuch attention to what he was saying. Besides, someone like Thomas would understand, right? Well, then again, he obviously hadn't needed to hone that skill, otherwise he wouldn't have asked the question in the first place.

"Not that your father's scent is particularly offensive," he added as an afterthought. "But I'd rather wear something of my own." He eyed a pack of plain t-shirts and tipped some into his basket. Thomas was acting odd. Somewhat stiff, and Gabe could hear his heart beating a tad too rapidly. Was the man afraid? Of what?

And then it dawned on him. Thomas must be afraid of him. It made a lot of sense, actually. He was aware that he could look somewhat... well, thuggish, sometimes. He was taller than usual, and definitely had the look of someone who got his hands dirty. He'd also been told many times in the past that he had a predatorial look. Add that to showing up on the man's doorstep beaten and bloody, and running around eating and stripping like a barbarian, and there weren't a lot of people who wouldn't be afraid. Which was a shame, since he host had been so kind.

"It's okay," he said gruffly as they left the store. The door was narrow, and as he brushed close to Thomas, he felt the slightest flinch. "I won't hurt you, and I'm not in a gang or anything. I'll just... ah... dammit, I'll be out of your hair as soon as I can find a hotel."
Everything was going smoothly until ... Thomas adruptly stopped and stared at Gabe's back. He thought ... he thought he was afraid of him! He was about to run after him but then he asked himself. Was he afraid of him? He ran after him. "No. It's ... it's not that. It's been awhile since I've had company. But it's ... it's not just that ..." How do you explain to someone that you felt more at ease with him after knowing him for only a few hours compared to knowing people your entire life and not being comfortable with them at all?
Well if it wasn't fear, what was it? Anger was another possibility, he supposed. But he hadn't been actually rude, as such. "So then what IS it? Do my table manner suck or something? I can eat like a civilized person, but not after spending three days eating bark and pinecones. Am I rude? Did I get blood on your carpet?" Wolves didn't have these issues, that was the problem! Being a human was complicated sometimes! There were all kinds of signals missing. Accelerated heart rate and avoiding contact could mean a whole host of things!

"Am I embarrassing you? I mean, I guess you're respected here, but like I said I'll be out of your way as soon as I can. I mean, I really appreciate you helping me out. You could just tell people your weird cousin dropped by or something..."

This was why he worked solo!
He looked up at him, confused. He was suddenly worked up and angry. But over what? Had he said something wrong? He looked around. Gabe's loud tone was beginning to attract unwanted attention but what he had to say couldn't be said in public! He took the man by the elbow and pulled him into the narrow driveway in between shops. He made sure no one was around. The driveway was empty. "I ..." He lowered his head. He was either going to be laughed at or beaten up for this ... "I just feel ... something different about you. And I've never felt this way with anyone before. And it's weird because I've only known you for a few hours and I don't even know your name. Or maybe you told me and I'm being a ditz again ..." He shook his head. His heart was beating fast again, his throat was dry. These signs confused and fascinated him. Whatever could they mean!
The confession pouring from the doctor's lips struck Gabe like a hammer between the eyes. It occurred to him very suddenly that he was arguing as if the man's opinions mattered. As if he wanted to be liked. No, not 'as if.' He did want to be liked by this man. And he doctor was right, they didn't even know each other's names! That was crazy. Illogical. All he could do was look dumbstruck. He was quick enough to dodge an attack, anticipate a strike, but suddenly he was totally and completely at a loss of what to do here, just talking to someone. So he did what he always did in situations like these, and acted on instinct.

Dropping the laden bags, he gripped Thomas by the shirt front, pressed him aggressively against the warm brick wall, and...

Kissed him. He could feel his heart pounding, the pulse beating heavily in his ears, and a fresh trickle of blood soak steadily into the pad of gauze, but somehow that just made it more intense. He plastered Thomas between the unyielding bricks and his own body, pressing his confusion and anger and embarrassment and everything into that one crucial point of contact. The beast in him growled, feeling threatened even while he dominated. He wasn't used to this, used to losing control or being surprised. He echoed that inner growl deep in his throat and wove his fingers behind Thomas's ponytail, tilting his head back, exposing his neck, and bit his lower lip gently but firmly.

Eyes somewhat glazed, he pulled away with a barely audible gasp, and grazed his teeth along Thomas's neck, waiting for submission, waiting to regain control of the spiraling situation.

"Gabe. My name is Gabriel Whaite," he growled, lips barely grazing Thomas's flesh.
It happened so fast! His mind went blank. His body moved on instinct. Every fiber of his being was tuned into this moment, focused solely on this man. He groaned, gasped, moaned, melted. His lips moved, although they ached from the rough passion Gabe's mouth subjected them to. He was used to soft, gentle kisses stolen when no one was looking. This kiss was a kiss of an entirely different nature. His heart beat with fear yet he wanted more. His body did all it could to get as much contact with Gabe's as possible. It confused him and yet it felt so right. His hands had covered Gabe's when his shirt was seized but now they held onto his wrists.

Thomas didn't even breathe until Gabe's mouth moved down to his neck. The other man appeared to be waiting for something but all Thomas could do was groan softly and make a noise that sounded like a whimper. His body arched against Gabe's. It took him awhile to realize he'd been given a name. "Th ... Thomas ... Thomas Behr."
"Doctor Behr," Gabe growled. He liked the way Thomas presented his throat, his neck, the hooded way he looked at him. Gabe was in control again. Everything about Thomas's body language declared it. A small part of him howled in triumph. He nipped Thomas's neck, just enough to leave the smallest impression of his teeth. It would be gone in a matter of minutes, but it satisfied the part of him that needed to be sure.

He was lowering his head to take possession once again when he heard the sound of approaching footsteps. He hastily disentangled himself and bent as though tying a shoelace, just as a pair of teenaged girls walked by the opening of the alleyway. Who was he fooling? As he glanced at Thomas through his lashes, he realized that his little display simply proved that he wasn't in control. And he'd kissed him! A man!

He'd kissed a man!

A small part of his brain disagreed. He hadn't kissed a man. He'd kissed Thomas, which apparently made it different somehow. But he'd known much more attractive men than Thomas. Traveling like he did, he met all kinds of people, including men who'd been attracted to him, and who, if he were to be a neutral judge, he would say were attractive enough as far as male anatomy went. But all his partners had all been female. He'd never even considered anyone else, not even the ones who looked female, because he could always smell the difference. But in a matter of hours, he'd met, gotten naked in front of, and then kissed this Thomas. What was wrong with him?!

He listened carefully, and when he was sure no one else was close by, he straightened up... And winced. He was bleeding through the shirt now, and it was starting to feel raw and angry underneath the gauze. That was god, actually. He'd focus on the pain instead of the jumbled mess his emotions had become.

"I think I ruined the nice patch job you did on my earlier."
He let out a soft gasp at the feel of Gabe's teeth on his neck. It felt so good! He wondered what else they could do that would feel even better--until the appearance of people! He quickly looked away and straightened his clothes. He was breathing heavily as he pulled his hair back into a ponytail, adjusted his glasses. He turned to Gabe and noticed the blood right away! "We have to get you back and I need to change this." He felt so guilty. If he hadn't pulled him into the driveway, they wouldn't have ... have kissed and he wouldn't be bleeding right now! "I'm so sorry. I promise I'll make it up to you." He quickly moved to pick up the bags, intent on carrying them so Gabe wouldn't have to.
As someone who made a career out of protecting people, Gabe wasn't unfamiliar with protective feelings. Nonetheless, he snatched his bags off the ground with just a little too much fervor. Crap, he was shaking now, and his head was to muddled to figure out why.

"I've got it." The words came out harsher than he meant them to, and he resisted grinding his teeth like a juvenile. "I just need to make sure I didn't pop a stitch or something." Aware that it would be awkward if people saw him bleeding on the street, he held one of the bags balance against his arm and a narrow hip, as though the bag were heavy, to shield the view of his chest. He kept it in his lap during the entire ride back, always wary of human law enforcement. Despite all his best efforts not to move too much, the shirt he'd worn out that afternoon was well-saturated by the time they made it back. Conscious this time, Gabe made an effort not to drip on the carpet.
Thomas tried not to flinch from the harsh tone but he managed to keep it cool--or so he kept telling himself. As soon as they returned to his house, he was grabbing the first aid kit and urging Gabe to sit on the edge of the bed. "It won't take too long. You heal very quickly." He put the first aid kit down and reached for the scissors to start cutting the shirt. He repeated over and over in his head that Gabe's wound came first and he would not drool over it like he was tempted to do now. "If you want, I can give you more pain killers or give you something that will help you sleep." He put the scissors down and began pulling the shirt pieces off of him slowly.
Gabe was used to having wounds dressed without any painkiller, and he hated taking drugs that made him drowsy, so he declined. He watched with some interest as Thomas got him cleaned and patched up. Seeing the blood, the reminder of who and what he was, had a sobering effect. He could sort himself out better now. Doubtless it had been the gratitude and the side effects of some kind of painkiller that had affected his judgement so severely today. But it was almost evening by now, and the effects had worn off, and after he slept and got some more food he'd be perfectly fine. His immature display of juvenile aggression would just be another bad memory.

And even if his body was attracted to someone, he didn't always give in. Sometimes, yes, particularly with females of the pack who understood his nomadic nature, but it was more to shut his young body up more than anything else. Even if his host had been a woman, it would be the height of disrespect to attempt something so crass after all the kindness he'd been shown.

"I never got the chance to thank you for last night," he said finally, as Thomas was putting away his things. He was under control now, and more determined than ever to remain that way. He hadn't allowed emotions to rule him so badly since training. "I'm pretty sure I was delirious, and you didn't have to take me in. So thank you."
He lifted his head and smiled at Gabe. It was a warm, genuine smile. "You're welcome. I wouldn't be a doctor if I didn't help people out. I'm just glad you weren't a serial killer or something." He laughed softly as he walked to the door. A serial killer. Georgia would love that. Especially since he was hot. No doubt she'd pull out pen and paper just to jot it down. "So ... you get some rest and I'll see you later." He closed the door behind him, then slipped into his room to take a well-deserved nap.
Gabe had to sneak into the kitchen again to find even more food to eat. He'd intended to perhaps start making a few phone calls, or drum up the mental list of local packs he could count on for resupply, when he dozed off.

It was fully dark by the time he roused, but when he woke, it was to the distinct feeling that something was wrong. Pulling on a fresh set of clothes, he slipped the knife he'd chosen earlier into the waistband of his jeans at the hollow of his back, leaving his hands free. "Thomas?" he called cautiously. What had woken him up?
It had been quite a day, something Thomas didn't realize until he found himself alone in his room. There was a lot to take in but as he made his way to the bed, his eyes grew heavy and his feet felt like lead. He was so tired he didn't even bother with putting the first aid kit away which was unusual. He liked to put things back where they belonged, because you never knew when you'd be in a rush to get to them. He kicked off his shoes and collapsed on the mattress, eyeglasses still on.
Still wary, particularly since this wasn't his home, Gabe padded down the hallway and into the kitchen. Although there was hardly any light due to the cloudy skies tonight, Gabe could see just fine. Most of his work was done in the dark, after all. He crept softly into the kitchen, sorting through the sounds of various appliances. His hair prickled on the back of his neck, a sure sign that something was wrong. But what was it?


A dark figure slipped open Thomas's door almost noiselessly, a sharp contrast to the spastic movements of the person who eased inside. The figure swayed for a moment, then reached out to rouse the doctor.

"Please, you have to help." The words slurred as they were spoken. "I was on the road with my daughter when she bit me. They said you were the only doctor in town, and I think something's wrong..." Had there been more light, one could have seen the way the man's skin shuddered over his body, as though it was unattached to the muscles underneath.


Gabe heard a voice almost at the same time he stumbled into the living room where the front door was open by only the slightest hair. He approached it and sniffed the doorframe, a familiar sickly scent invading his senses. Before he knew it, he was bolting down the corridor, following the trail.

"Thomas!" he shouted. What if the other man was asleep? Or listening to something over headphones? "Thomas! There's something in the house! Don't let it near you!" Gabe made a sharp turn and slammed open a bedroom door just in time to see the clouds clear and a beam of pure moonlight strike the stranger.
He must have been a lot more tired than he'd first thought. He was usually perceptive to injured people around him and here there was a patient in need who had snuck right in! He was lifting his head, eyelids so heavy. His feet felt like lead but he was slowly shifting to get a better look. He was disoriented and light-headed. "Mm ...? Hurt?" He hadn't heard Gabe shouting, not until the man burst into the room!

Thomas was still trying to blink the sleep out of his eyes! "Huh ... Gabriel?" He managed to sit up and rubbed his eyes. Everything was blurry! Oh no, his glasses! He turned away from the stranger to reach for the glasses on the bedside table.
Gabriel reacted like he'd been trained to. Coiling, he sprang at the man, ramming him into the opposite wall and pinning him there by his neck. He braced himself and jerked his head back just in time, the slavering teeth clicking audibly shut just millimeters in front of his face. Incredible, inhuman strength surged through the stranger's body, the tendons of his neck exerting counter-force on Gabe's pinning hold.

"Run, Thomas!" he shouted. Why wasn't the other man moving? "DAMMIT, I TOLD YOU TO RUN!"
He'd managed to put his glasses on but now he was frozen by the sight in front of him! "Gabriel, no! He's hurt! I still need to take care of him!" He had no idea what was going on or why Gabriel knew to do ... whatever the hell he was doing! The smell of blood was in the air and he didn't know if it was on his tongue or not. His throat was dry and his heart was beating so fast! His vision was getting blurry and he was beginning to sweat! His feet was like lead!

Meanwhile the man Gabriel held down was fighting to be free! Hungry! So hungry! And his meal was just inches away! He shifted and squirmed and struggled to find some hold to grab onto to turn the tables on Gabriel!

"Run ...! RUN!"

A house on fire. A woman waving a flaming stick around. Shadows with bright eyes and claws ... Flames that reached into the night sky. The smell of blood, the smell of vengeance, and death and fear.

Thomas felt light headed from the images this was bringing back to him. The first aid kit fell to the ground!
Gabe cursed as the victim squirmed with uncanny finesse and broke his hold. He threw himself back just in time again, sending the both of them sprawling onto the ground. He was barefoot, so he couldn't risk kicking the other man, as badly as he wanted to. Instead, he grabbed Thomas's blanket and threw it over the victim, trying to wrap it around its head, but the creature managed to get its feet under it and slammed him hard into the wall. Gabe's vision blurred for a moment, but he slung the figure down to the ground and grabbed Thomas by the wrist. The quarters were too close, and there was too high a risk of the creature changing targets. They had to get out.

"Dammit!" he roared. He practically dragged Thomas out of the house, making it almost halfway to a line of trees before the intensity of the enraged snarls told him the creature was catching up. He gave the doctor another shove. "Get into the woods!"

Pivoting, he barreled for the stranger, setting himself low at the last minute to pop the other man into the air. In another moment, he had shifted and was upon him, jaws clamped around the man's shirt, dragging him away from Thomas. His thick fur protected him from being bitten, at least for now, but he couldn't destroy the creature with his teeth at risk of infection and ever step away from Thomas was another step away from his clothing, and his knife.