Who: Ehren & wolf!Logan; then actual Logan What: An encounter & a confession When:July 30th - 31st Where: The edge of the woods, Ehren’s apartment Rating: Mid - nudity, lots of wolf growls Status: Complete
He couldn’t say what it was that kept him awake later than usual that night, maybe it was because he was still adjusting to his new mind. The mind that mind that didn’t suffer from crippling anxiety, the cure all he’d spent all his life wishing there was. He wasn’t a completely different person yet so many things around him took on a new light. So, in favor of giving sleep the good old college try, Ehren decided a quiet walk might help him.
He set out of his apartment and began to walk. This time of night there weren’t many guards but the few there were tended to be the worst of them. Still, as long as you weren’t doing anything suspicious, you might be able to avoid them.
The air was cool outside and it smelled like rain, yet they hadn’t actually had any tonight. He found a spot to sit for a bit and read the book that Logan had bought for him. It was a nice gesture and Ehren was starting to think about the other man a lot more.
Was he ready to get back out there? Who knew, but he was glad he’d at least be able to call his handsome new acquaintance a friend.
Nose would touch the ground. The wolf inhaled the scent of the earth, the muddled, complex tangle of interesting smells. Overhead the graveyard painted across the sky talked to pennas of rain - the atmosphere shifted a touch. His bones illuminated with the alteration of pressure in a way humans would never understand - in a way he still didn’t understand.
Large paws would scratch at the ground. Digging across the surface the wolf uncovered a small object, an old but rare coin. With its ebony nose the thing was sifted from the granules of dirt and taken up into its maw with its tongue.
Guards were notorious for dropping things along the routes common for strolling.
With the coin in its mouth the large canine wandered, tail swishing from side to side. It slunk down the shadowed trails coming to a halt when the familiar, settled figure came into its line of sight. It could smell a Ehren long before those bright eyes were allowed to fix upon him.
Pennas would arch, twist atop the wolf’s crown as it listened to the echoes of the wee morning. All the while it watched the shroud of the other man as he read.
He couldn’t say what made him stop reading for a moment, maybe it was the sound of the wind rustling or the conversation of some guards far off, but when his head arose, he saw something. Off in the distance, clear as day, he could see the snout, the eyes, the billowing fur. It was some sort of dog. Ehren hadn’t seen one on this island since he’d moved there and he stood to have a closer look.
The closer he got the more he began to realize it wasn’t an ordinary dog, that it more likely resembled a wolf. His nerd brain immediately went to Game of Thrones as he cautiously approached his dire wolf. The wolf didn’t seem to move or show any signs of aggression but he had to be careful still.
“Hey there.” He said softly as he approached, finding a spot on the ground to sit on his knees. He wouldn’t get to close but he wanted to present himself as someone who was not a threat.
As the other man rose, the wolf took a step backward. Paws would settle firmly upon the ground, head would rise as pennas stood erect. Tail would lift, as if stating and asserting its dominance. Usually the wolf evaded people if it could be helped, very few were allowed to get close. Hunkering down in the storm with Dorian had been a fluke - he’d been at the right place at the right time.
Wolves tended to be on the larger end of the canine spectrum and Logan was no exception. For humans expected them to be nearly the size of the average household dog. One of the reasons why bi-pedal creatures avoided the predators was because of the fact that wolves could take down a man quite easily.
Another step backward would be taken. The wolf paused, watching Ehren get down on its level in a way. Tail would swish from side to side with caution.
The taste of the coin was awful on its tongue. Keeping its eyes on the human, the wolf bowed its head and set the coin down on the ground, pushing at it with the end of its snout as if offering the prize up.
Eyebrows would knit together as the wolf offered up an old coin, which was probably rather rare. It seemed like such a human gesture, so intentional yet it was a wild animal. Ehren knew this kind of thing happened around here. Fitz could turn into any number of cats or feline creatures, why not a wolf for someone else? He cautiously picked up the coin to look more closely at it. “Thank you.” He replied but not in the voice that a person might talk to an animal in, but another human.
He sat back on his heels and smirked a little, his book forgotten by his side. “You know, I think wolves are a misunderstood breed. They may be vicious but they are fiercely loyal and can survive a lot of dangerous circumstances. Do you get to choose or is wolf your only option?” He asked, revealing the fact that he could tell he wasn’t just approaching a hyper-intelligent wolf, but a person with supernatural abilities.
As the thanks was given, the wolf would tip its head to the side as if it didn’t understand. Maw would separate enough for its long tongue to slip out and wet the fur along the top part of the outside of its mouth. Another step backward would be taken before the animal would sit down.
Ears would come forward, arched as if listening. And then they would twitch, flicker, before moving to the sides of the wolf’s head.
How this man could know it wasn’t a wolf was strange unless he could hear animals thoughts or had some supernatural ability to tell. He hadn’t done anything unnatural for a wolf to do.
Eyes would dart to the side as it picked up on a bit of laughter echoing from a bit away. Ears swiveled to that side to listen. A keening noise would be emitted, and then it’s attention would come back to rest on Ehren.
He watched the wolf’s reactions, it was hard to tell now that he’d thought about it. If he’d been wrong then the only one to know that he was crazy would be the wolf. If he was right, he doubted the wolf would be able to reply in English, so he left it for now. “Maybe I’m just finally going crazy.” He said to both himself and the wolf. Who knew what the side effects of Caspian’s treatment could be?
He laughed at himself for a little before cautiously reaching out his hand. This was beyond stupid, if the wolf was an actual wolf, or rather someone who didn’t like him, but something about this wolf didn’t scare him, like he knew it wouldn’t harm him. He didn’t try to extend his arm further than his immediate reach, just left his hand in front of him in case the curious beast wanted to move forward himself. He wouldn’t blame the wolf if he didn’t.
A soft whine would be offered as a reply, head tilting a bit to the side. Bright eyes would watch, ears rotated to listen. The night was alive with other sounds but those could be explored later.
When the hand became outstretched the wolf leaned backward as if to offset the measured distance. Large paws would shuffle, carrying itself backward too, nearly out of reach. It was only an inch or so of distance lost.
Fur would bristle. Tail swished from side to side and as the wolf tilted its head a front paw would lift. It scraped at the air much like a domesticated dog might in an effort to tell a human it wanted to shake. That was not the case here, it was only mimicking the motion Ehren had done.
Sniffling at the air to gain scent the wolf stretched that lifted paw and set it into Ehren’s outstretched palm.
A smile came to his face, full and bright as his blue eyes shimmered in the moonlight. He missed this, missed his dog back home. It made him so happy just to have that comfort of feeling a furry paw in his hand. “You’re beautiful.” He said to the wolf, letting his thumb brush against the back of the paw. He wanted to push his fingers through the thick fur, scratch the back of his ear, but this would do for now.
If he’d have known what was standing before him was the soft-spoken strong silent blonde man he’d been thinking about lately, things might have been different. He wouldn’t let his guard come down so easily. But here he was, so incredibly happy to see a canine again that it didn’t matter what this creature saw.
A snuffle of air would escape its nose but it sat perfectly still, statuesque. Had any bystanders happened upon them they would have been an odd sight - large wolf and almost small man connected by a palm and a paw.
Another sound, the wolf would shake its head from side to side as a dog might when it got wet before it settled again. It wasn’t wet, but sometimes animals had itches that couldn’t be itched.
Leaving its paw there the wolf continued to sit. It would for a moment longer before it would leave this one alone so the human could get back to its night.
At this point, Ehren didn’t want it to stop, he was such a big lover of dogs and this was the closest he’d gotten to a dog-like creature in a long time. Taking a chance he sat up a bit and brought a hand to the fur by his neck, letting his fingers run through the soft fur. It felt nice, different from his dog he missed so much but still canine.
It probably would have looked ridiculous to anyone looking at them, which Ehren hadn’t bothered to look around for. Who knew what roaming eyes were out there, watching him pet this wolf.
Usually he didn’t allow others so close but the feel of the fingers against the fur had the large animal leaning into the touch. Eyes would close, head would drop a bit and the outstretched paw would descend to better assist with balance.
Ears stayed perked to listen but otherwise it allowed the distraction to ensue. He had to admit that being petted was nice once in a while.
Finding himself scoot a bit closer to the wolf, Ehren let his fingers come up to the wolf’s ear, dealing gentle scratches in the place where most dogs couldn’t itch. This was bliss to Ehren, absolute pure bliss and the smile on his face showed nothing but. He couldn’t believe he got a chance to do this again.
“If there is someone in there.” He said quietly, to the wolf and the wolf only. “You made my whole… life I guess. Since I moved here, I haven’t been able to do this and I can’t remember a time when I was happier.” He was revealing a lot about himself right now, but if it were just a wolf, like it seemed then he had nothing to worry about.
Head would shift, tilting into those scratching fingers. A soft, keening noise would leave the large creature. Tail would swish from side to side and eyes would stay closed. It allowed the closure of distance considering the scent wafting off of the other man was one of delight, bliss.
Those soft words caused the eyes of the wolf to open. Head would lift, and it would press its nose against Ehren’s. A snuffle would be emitted.
Things were easier as a wolf, he didn’t have to worry about saying too much or too little. Silence could bring happier moments - humans tended to be afraid to touch each other in small, platonic ways, where animals didn’t mind touch.
His smile widened as the wolf playfully pressing its nose against his nose to sniff at him. “You remind me of someone.” He said, but he’d dare not say the name. Because what if it was? He had no information on what Logan’s mutation was, per se, only that he did have one. So he was careful not to name any names, just in case.
He delighted in petting the wolf so much that he was feeling at peace. The peace he needed to finally fall asleep. And while he didn’t want to leave, he knew it was in poor taste to fall asleep where he was. There was a shuffle of feet behind him but Ehren was too involved in the animal to notice the guard sauntering up to them.
As the comment came the wolf would pull back enough to look at the man much better. Eyes would drift, searching Ehren’s face, ears would twist in an effort to stay vigilant even as they sat there in silence together.
But then the wolf began to hear the sounds of disturbed earth, the sound of heavy footfalls, and instantly it’s body would grow rigid.
Fur on its mane began to stand up, it moved backward abruptly, tail up, lips pulling back from its maw to expose the razor sharp canines.
Ehren was confused at first at the sudden change in the wolf’s behavior, then he would hear the footfalls behind him as he quickly stood up to see one of the islands guards walking toward him. His first instinct was to run but that would only make the situation worse so he stood his ground.
“Hey you, what are you doing over there?” The guard was obviously too far away to see the wolf yet but the closer he got, the more risk there was to him being seen. Ehren quickly picked the book up off the ground and began to walk toward the guard.
“Just reading a book, I couldn’t sleep so I thought I’d get some fresh air.” He replied, the hand behind his back trying to signal the wolf to run before he was seen.
“You shouldn’t be here. Do I need to escort you to a holding cell or are you going to return home?” The guard asked as he came very quickly to stand uncomfortably close to Ehren, attempting to intimidate and size the other man up.
The growling ensued. With each step that brought the guard closer the primal rumbling rose. Ears would flatten against the crown, paws flexed and pushed into the earth beneath as it waited to see what would happen. As a human he loathed bullying; some of the guards were harmless, more bark and less bite.
It didn’t matter that he was seen, that was the risk the wolf was willing to take. He had to make the same decision with Dorian - fun and hide or stand and fight.
One step, and then another. Deep growling would be emitted and when the guard came to stand right up on the bi-pedal human the wolf snapped forward. A warning bark would be emitted with the hope to frighten the guard away. It settled at Ehren’s side, the crown of its head and start of the mane nearly at Ehren’s middle. Logan was no small creature even as a man.
Having been unsuccessful, the wolf came running up at his side and immediately the guard tumbled back out of fear. “What..” He said with a shaky voice. “...what is that?” The guard asked him, terrified of the large creature.
Ehren looked down at him unsurprised and then back up at the guard. “Oh you mean this wolf here? They’re pretty dangerous. I read in a book once that wolves can run up to 38 miles per hour when hunting. The fastest runner in human history clocked 28 miles per hour.” He replied to the man who began to back up in horror.
As if coasting on Ehren’s confidence, an unusual but welcomed sight for the man, the wolf crept closer, nearly bearing down teeth and fur on the guard. The creature was only trying to frighten, not necessarily attack, but it could flip into monster mode if the guard tried anything.
A noise escaped - a mixture of a growl and a bark - threatening, daring the guard to come any closer.
Lowering itself down as if it made to pounce or lunge forward, the wolf braced itself, paws digging into the ground as it settled onto its haunches.
Screaming as the wolf began to prepare for a lung the guard ran off as quickly as his legs would carry him. A smile formed on his face, he’d never felt so powerful before. After the guard was clear he let out a breath of air he hadn’t realized he’d been holding in and shouted “Wow!” His eyes looked down at the wolf still by his side, and cautiously waited for it to return to normal.
He knelt beside the creature again, scratching its ear once more. “You saved me. You know that?” A soft chuckle would fall from his lips.
Until the guard was out of sight the wolf held its position. When he saw the last of the guard, though the fear would linger in the air for a while yet, the creature let itself relax and sit down. It’s head would lift, turn to look up at the human.
A nod from the canine would come, nearly human-like in nature, but not in a bragging way. It as humble, knowing it was the reason that the guard scurried away. But it wasn’t only him. Ehren was convincing. Confident. It was a very good look for the other man.
The wolf nuzzled at one of Ehren’s hips and then leaned into the scratching.
On his knees he continued to pet the wolf for a minute before speaking. “I should probably get to bed, too much excitement for one night.” He offered the wolf, who was enjoying his attention to his ears.
He lifted a knee but stopped before standing up again. “If there in a person in there.” He said out loud to the wolf before leaning into the dogs ear to whisper. “Come and find me.” He then pressed a soft kiss to the side of the wolf’s face and stood up to make his way back to his apartment.
Had the wolf been capable it would’ve blinked.
A snuffle would be emitted and then the wolf was bounding off after Ehren. It raced along after the man nearly at his heels. Running was something wolves loved to do by nature, they had the stamina to move fast at a consistent pace and speed for stretches of hours. This beat having to run as a human.
Catching up, easily enough, the wolf began to trot alongside.
Noticing the wolf come to his side he chuckled a little. “You’re walking me home now?” He questioned but only in jest as he felt the presence of the beast beside him. Definitely had the personality of someone he’d met recently. Still, it was unfair to assume that if someone were inside of there, it could be anyone at all.
“Well I’d call you a gentleman, but gentle wolf seems to fit more in this case doesn’t it?” He joked, wondering if he’d really just started talking to himself. At least there was another living thing there so he wouldn’t look too strange if spied on.
A few more yards and they’d be at his apartment door. Was the wolf going to follow him into his apartment? There was no way to tell, but he didn’t mind either.
Ehren was the one who had thrown out the challenge, which had prompted the wolf to move. Maybe he was giving up a secret, but on this island with as small a community that they had, nothing was a secret for long. Long legs, large paws thudded against the sidewalk.
The wolf would shake in response to Ehren’s comment, a full body, fur sticking out at all angles shimmy, before it settled. Moving onward he paused when they crept close to the apartment door.
Unsure, the wolf sat.
Ehren took his keys out of his pockets and unlocked his door. When it opened he looked back at the wolf and shrugged. “Come on in.” He offered the beast who had a lot of human sensibilities. It might be hungry so it would be rude of him not to give the wolf his leftovers if he wanted it.
It was late creeping into early morning. A lot of people would be up in a few hours, himself included, to find work or carry on assignments. There were still a lot of things to fix from the storm and yet the wolf found itself moving forward. It rose from its hind legs and padded on, into the apartment.
A sniffle here and there, tail swishing from side to side lowered, the too large canine began to explore. Over at the coffee table a stack of manuscripts would be accidentally blown off of the flat surface by an exhale.
The wolf would look down at them, catching one with a paw.
He’d been going through a lot of his manuscripts lately, most recently he’d been going back over the ones when he’d seen Daryn get ambushed. The pages were all scribbled at the top with dates, all approximately three months prior to the incident.
Ehren made his way into the kitchen to find some steak he’d had for dinner the night before. He heat the meat up in a microwave for a few seconds so that it was lukewarm and placed it into a plate. He left that plate near the wolf who seemed to look down at his papers as if he were reading them.
It seemed odd for a wolf to look down at a paper so intently, but it really seemed like it did.
Another stack would be knocked over accidentally as it’s maw lifted and turned. Paws would step backward instantly so as not to tread on the words.
Tail lifted, swiped the air. But then something caught it’s attention.
The steak was there on a plate and the wolf went to devour it, finding it too cooked for its liking, though that didn’t deter it.
Ehren returned to his kitchen to fill a bowl with water from the sink and left it next to the plate the wolf was eating the steak off of. He knew there were probably better things he could feed a wolf but his fridge was pretty bare at the moment. He didn't touch the wolf as it ate, so he could enjoy his food in silence and sat down on the couch just to observe him.
He was comforting in a way Ehren never thought a wolf would be. His mere presence put Ehren at a sense of calm. By the time the sun peeked through the windows, he would be asleep. For now, he was still enjoying the silent company.
The steak was consumed in a way that might suggest it had not eaten a good meal in a while, which was not the case. Perhaps. Devouring the portion of beef the wolf licked its chops and then bypassed the manuscript on the floor carefully, mindful to lap the water gently.
When it was done, the wolf looked around at the apartment, studying it better now that it had the first time.
Yawning, Ehren stood from his couch and headed toward his room. If the wolf wanted to leave, he was sure he’d find a way to let Ehren know. “I’m going to sleep.” He said and then turned around to the wolf. “Stay if you like.” He offered and then peeled off his shirt to get changed into his clothes in his bedroom.
He always loved having Daisy sleep on the bed next to him, but he wasn’t sure what this wolf was comfortable with.
The wolf would look away.
It glanced around at the room, considered the implications. What could it hurt keeping someone comfortable? It wasn’t like Ehren knew who he was.
A soft whine and the wolf began to pad forward, toward the bedroom. The entire area smelled of his friend. Moving to the floor at the side of the bed he began to move in circles.
Was it presumptuous to get up on the bed? He didn’t know and wasn’t sure so the floor would do fine.
When Ehren was ready to get into his bed he slipped beneath the covers and patted the spot right next to him. It was a big enough bed for him and another person, so the wolf and him should be just fine. “You can come up here if you like.” He offered and laid back down in the bed.
He found himself wanting to be as close as possible to the wolf, like the wolf was protecting him. What was there not to like about it?
Paws would scratch at the floor.
That patting caught it’s attention and the wolf looked up. Paws would lift. It moved up on its back paws and then vaulted up onto the bed. It caved, the wolf lifted and dropped all of its paws in an attempt to get comfortable.
Finally it settled.
Head on the pillow, the wolf settled next to Ehren.
Leaning his body over as he became comfortable Ehren let his arm fall over the wolf’s body. He drifted easily off to sleep with the soft fur underneath his fingertips. It felt so nice to have the wolf there by his side, a comfort in a cold land.
He dreamt of the wolf, dreamt that he’d turned into Logan, soft and strong. They were pleasant dreams he hoped he’d be able to have again.
During the night the wolf experienced the painful change. Dreams turned to nightmares. Excruciating nerve firing wracked through him. He shifted through it back to human. A breath. Lips pulling from teeth but he settled.
An arm would curl around the other, warm form. Close he would snuggle, pull.
Without anything but the sheets between them, considering he shifted without anything on, Logan breathed out without the realization of consequences later.
When Ehren awoke it was not to the wolf, but to a very tired Logan. He sat in his bed for a moment looking at the other man, a hand gently came up to brush the hair that had fallen in his face before getting out of bed, letting his side of the comforter fold over Logan. He could tell he was naked, and Ehren didn’t want to take advantage of him like that.
He made his way into the kitchen to make some coffee, a small smile playing on his lips. He was right, it was Logan. He just hoped it wouldn’t be too awkward when he woke up. In the fridge he found some bacon he’d forgotten about and a carton of eggs he’d purchased a few days ago and began to make breakfast.
Rolling over, Logan grasped at the pillows clutching them in the absence of warmth. Exhaling through his nose he burrowed into the bed, the sheets. And then he realized that these sheets didn’t smell like his.
A groan, sleepy and exhausted at the same time his eyes fluttered open. Blearily he looked at the blank air, the vacant sheets and pillows.
Suddenly he was pinwheeling out of the bed. Flailing, a tangle of sheets and blankets he tumbled out of the bed backward. Head hit the wall. He winced.
Hearing the commotion in his bedroom Ehren turned off his burner and ran toward the noise. “Are you alright?” Were the first words out of his mouth as Logan came into view, hidden underneath a tangle of sheets, only his top half visible. Ehren looked away so as not to be rude but it didn’t stop him from catching a small glimpse beforehand.
“Uh, hi.” He said as the redness crept onto his face. “This is, well, um..” while he was more confident there was not a lot that could be said in a situation like this one. “I’m making coffee and some breakfast, do you want any?” He asked, his back turned to Logan.
“Fine,” Logan breathed. He cleared his throat, pulling the sheets around himself tighter. It was embarrassing but he should’ve gone home a long time ago. He had only himself to blame.
Eyes would lift. Logan turned to look up at Ehren. “Hey.”
“Sure.” Wrapping himself in Ehren’s sheets Logan moved to stand. He was red in the face, but he was here and he was going to own it.
He turned around to point Logan to his dresser drawers. “Third drawer down, there are some stretchy pajama pants and big t-shirts. You know, so you don’t have to walk around in my linens.” He teased before turning on his heels to return to the kitchen.
The food didn’t take long and the coffee had already finished brewing so while Logan got dressed he fixed two plates with food and poured two cups of coffee to put at the small kitchen table. Ehren still hadn’t put a shirt on himself, since he tended to sleep without them, but he didn’t feel the need to cover himself up like he did before.
Leaving a small pot of cream on the table he sat and put some in his coffee before stirring it with a spoon.
“I’d rather walk around in the linens,” he stated. He wouldn’t wear someone else’s clothes, nor did he know where those threads had come from. Not having it.
This was primarily the reason why he and Casey fought - he was stubborn and had a bit of a temper which was childish.
Shuffling into the kitchen, wrapped in sheets, he settled down and waited. The idea of Ehren without a shirt wasn’t something he acknowledged, at least where the other would notice.
As breakfast came the sheets came further down to drape around the chair and riding low, he dug into the food. Exposed was skin until it met linens.
They are in silence for a bit, Ehren in his pajama pants and Logan in his bedsheets. It was a funny thing if one didn’t know the context of the scenario but Ehren didn’t laugh since Logan seemed a little uncomfortable. Finally, after taking a sip of coffee he couldn’t hold his silence any longer.
“So, you’re a wolf.” He said, bluntly, something he would have never done before. “I like it.” He added, so as not to start some sort of fight. He could imagine how embarrassing this must have been for Logan right now, to be so exposed like this, so he tried not to make a big deal out of it.
He ate and drank the coffee in silence. It’d been a long time since he’d fallen asleep and woken up next to someone. Long time still since he’d woken up next to someone naked.
“Yep.” He managed. He didn’t know whether or not to be disturbed by the last comment or not. “Why?”
Ehren could see that he was getting short answers from Logan so he wouldn’t pry. “I just meant it suits you. The loyal fierceness.” He replied, finishing up his eggs before picking up a slice of bacon to eat. He’d done pretty well for not really knowing much about cooking if he did say so himself.
“And you know, I like you so the whole being a canine thing kind of adds to the appeal.” He really was more forward now though it gave Logan the easy way out if he wasn’t comfortable with it. ‘Like’ could mean any number of things.
It was also an easy way out. He’d killed his family. Nobody should like him. Not anyone in their right mind.
“I’m not a good person.” Eggs and bacon would be consumed. Coffee was too sweet but he drank it regardless.
Was that all Ehren liked about him? His ability? Fork would prong at the rest of the food on his plate.
Eyes would soften and brows knit together as Logan tried to convince Ehren that he was a bad person. “I disagree.” He replied, reaching across the table to lightly brush his fingers against Logan’s. From the way he’d grabbed his face and how he’d nuzzled him as a wolf, Ehren believed he didn’t mind little touches her and there, and a Ehren liked to touch.
“You saved my life last night and you walked me home to make sure I didn’t get approached again. That guard would have had me on the ground if it wasn’t for you. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know any bad people that do that.”
His fork made it deep into a piece of bacon in protest. Had he been a wolf he would’ve snorted and walked away. As it was he sat there, head turned away.
“I didn’t save you. You were fighting for yourself.” Logan turned to look at Ehren. “You had things handled. You should’ve seen yourself. Confident. It’s a good thing.” He didn’t need anyone. He had it handled.
Against his better judgement a smile started to form on Ehren’s face. Caspian’s work had done its trick. Ehren didn’t have his anxiety disorders anymore. Still, he didn’t like the way Logan seemed to discount his part.
“I might have had confidence, but I wouldn’t have beaten him in a fight. He backed away the minute he saw you.” He argued, dead set on convincing Logan that he actually did have a part in it.
“If you’re not a good person, what inspired you to snarl at the guard or walk me the home?” He pointed out, curious to know what Logan’s answer to that was.
“Well, you did whisper in my ear, and also I know who you were —,” he began, before he sat up a bit straighter “ — or, I thought I did.” Something in Ehren had changed. Maybe for better, maybe for worse.
“You wouldn’t back away when faced with a predator?” It was human nature.
“Of course I would. I just don’t understand why you think you’re not worthy of my attention.” He grasped at Logan’s arms across the table. “I’m not asking you to tell me all of your deep dark secrets. I just..” He sighed and let go of Logan’s arms to sit back on his chair.
He thought for a moment next about what to say. What did he mean he though he knew Ehren? Was he somehow heartless because he didn’t have crippling anxiety. He didn’t feel heartless but Logan was beginning to convince him that he was.
“I guess I just like being around you and I really thought that you did too, but now I’m starting to think I was wrong.” He said finally, his last words were said with his eyes looking directly into Logan’s.
He would’ve thrown Ehren off had the other man not backed off. He didn’t want to compromise himself, his grief. “You’ve changed. I can smell the difference.”
Before Ehren had been more timid, he’d found it endearing. The way he’d fallen all over himself. But something had shifted. He’d grown. There was nothing wrong with it - he could get behind confidence, this seemed abrupt. Without the lessons of life to back it up.
It didn’t make the other heartless, it was just confusing.
“Think whatever you want.” It was probably better that way.
His face fell at the words ‘you’ve changed’. It had been a fear of his. He bit down quietly on his lip and looked down at his empty plate. “I can’t really explain to you what I did, but it was something that was weighing me down for a long time.” It was the best he could. Ehren still had cameras in his apartment and he couldn’t risk his identity like that.
He tried regardless of how he would need to skirt around it. “I know about things, things I shouldn’t know about and I had to learn how to control it. So, I did something that sort of wiped the slate clean.” He was sure he was sounding like a madman right now.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry if you don’t like me now.” This wasn’t something Caspian hadn’t touched, this sadness that laid buried deep beneath where his anxiety use to be.
“You have to do what’s best for you,” he murmured. Rising from the table, the cloth shielding him was dropped. At least he was comfortable with his grief. It made him who he was, even if that was a shell of himself. He would never compromise that, give it up.
“Do what’s important. I can’t blame you for that.”
Turning, he made his way to the front door of the apartment. “Have the slate wiped clean. Don’t live with the things that make you who you are.”
The door was approached and he opened it, heading out.
As he watched Logan leave a part of him felt empty. Like what he’d said taken out the very idea that he was still the same person. That couldn’t be true though, could it? He watched the door only for a moment before he sprinted to his doorway in time to catch Dylan walking down the hall. He wanted to yell out to him, scream at him for his accusation but the words wouldn’t form and his throat felt dry.
“I’m sorry, please don’t hate me.” Finally came out but it was impossible to know if Logan could even hear it in the distance.
A last look. He turned and headed to his own apartment a few doors down. The door was unlocked as it always was when he turned into a wolf. It was hard to carry keys without pockets. His gaze met Ehren’s. Down the way he couldn’t hear what the man had said.
But it didn’t matter. The disappointment spoke for itself. He let himself into his own apartment and closed the door behind himself.