Hi readers! I thought I'd get started on this with my Briefer since I had no comments or suggestions last week. I'm sure this will make some people happy though. :D My inspiration this week came from the prompt, "My momma always said some things were better left unsaid.”
Benny dug his claws into the mud. He’d already created furrows deep enough to bury his fingers all the way. He needed them anchored to stay in his spot hidden at the base of a pine tree. He’d been there for hours. The fragrant needles helped hide his scent so he could get close to the eyrie.
It was close, but not close enough. It was never close enough.
Instinct drove Benny to race down the slope. The slender Carthera wouldn’t be able to stop him. He could be down there, amid the young rolling around on the ground, in seconds. He trembled with need.
The memory of Yuri's frantic screaming was the only thing holding Benny back.
His mate was so close, yet too far away. Each time Benny came to watch him another piece of his soul was ripped away. The hole where his mate should be was gone, and he was losing whatever bits of himself he had left.
Pretty soon there’d be nothing to him but an empty shell. Keeping his ears erect was more than Benny could stand. They folded flat, muting the happy peals of laughter as his mate romped with the young hawk Carthera. His stripes were covered by his long-sleeve shirt, his ears hidden under his hat. If Benny didn’t know for certain, if the bittersweet memories of making love to his mate didn’t torment him nightly, he’d never have known Yuri was mated.
Of course, Yuri didn’t know he was mated. He’d forgotten those precious nights just as thoroughly as he’d forgotten Benny.
“Where have you been?” Brad asked. “You’re late.” He peered over the tap. “You’re never late.”
Benny held in a snarl. “Mind your own business.” He went in the back and grabbed a fresh t-shirt out of the laundry room. The black fabric stretched across his chest, the word security emblazoned in tall, white letters.
Another night working in Davis’ club rousting stinking humans who pissed their life away. He flexed his claws then sheathed them. Maybe he’d get lucky and some guy would start a fight.
The music blared and colored strobes flashed over the dance floor. Benny hissed. The lights always messed with his eyes, but Davis liked them. Too bad his mate didn’t react to the lights anymore. If Ellis did maybe Davis could’ve been persuaded to change them.
Jerret straddled a stool set by the entrance. He dug his phone out of his pocket and glanced at it. “Hey bro.” He leaned in. Even with both of them mated and changed it was hard to talk over the music. “It’s been quiet. Ellis swung by and nabbed Davis ‘bout an hour ago. The band has a break in thirty.”
“Thanks.” Benny crossed his arms over his chest, scanning the bar.
Calix walked in the bar. Jerret grinned when the huge liger pulled him close and captured his mouth.
Benny looked away. He dropped his arms and ground his teeth.
“Whoa man, what’s eating you?” Calix was eyeing Benny’s hands.
Benny forced his claws to retract. “None of your fucking business.” He flashed his fangs.
As big as Calix was, Jerret pushed his mate back a step. The large liger owned a gym not too far from the bar, and it showed in the muscles rippling in the light when he moved. Jerret elbowed Calix in the stomach. “Shhh.”
Calix pulled Jerret back against him with one arm around his stomach. He was just as protective of Benny’s little brother as Jerret was of him. Of course Benny would never hurt his family, but still… it was good to see Jerret with a caring mate, even if it hurt too. Calix ducked his chin.
“Sorry, Benny. My momma always said some things were better left unsaid.”
Jerret and Calix exchanged a glance Benny ignored. “Don’t you guys have a better place to be?”
“Yeah, we do.” Jerret reached out and squeezed Benny’s shoulder. “See ya later, bro.”
Benny manned the door. He carded folks when they came in and kept an eye on the little twink who seemed to be causing a bit of a ruckus on the dance floor. He took a seat in a booth with his friends when the band took a break and things calmed down.
It was too quiet. Someone needed to fuck up and give Benny a reason to kick their ass.
A few someones. Benny bared his teeth and snarled at a drunk getting irate with Brad at the bar. Looks like he had his first taker.
Benny sank onto his couch, exhausted. He yanked his shirt over his head and tossed it toward his bedroom. A drunk had puked and some of the bile on his face had wiped on Benny’s shoulder when he stuffed the sot into a taxi. He’d spent the day watching Yuri and his night working. His stomach complained, but it was too much work to get up and make something to eat. He leaned his head back and groaned. Sleeping was a crapshoot. He hadn’t climbed into bed in over a year. Good thing he had a comfortable leather couch.
It was getting harder to force himself to go through the motions of life. Everyone was happily mated but him. Benny rolled his eyes to look at the clock. Dawn wouldn’t come for a few hours. His eyes were gritty. He ground the palms of his hands over his eyes.
He’d eat something later. He’d just take a short nap.
Claws dug into Benny’s shoulders and legs. He was restrained on the bed by four large Tigers. He roared, fighting their grip. His mate had long since stopped shouting but his father had no mercy. Benny didn’t want to see, but he couldn’t shut his eyes.
“And you. You won’t be tempting my son in this abomination of a relationship again.”
Benny screamed as the alpha’s sharp claws slashed down.
“Fuck!” His claws were buried in the couch cushion.
There's a lot of Briefers to read more! Our groups is really growing! Don't forget to check out the Wednesday Briefers website too! Andy's been doing a lot of work to polish it, and you can find snippets and links to all the story updates as well as past updates if you get a little behind in your reading.