Logan is worried about his mate, Sebastian. For months now Sebastian hasn't been sleeping well, is barely eating, and is becoming increasingly distant. Logan has no idea what's wrong with him, but his last hope is to bring an omega into their home. It's an unconventional choice, but Logan will do anything to help Sebastian.
Logan's uncle, an alpha who lives a few hours away, has an omega who isn't fitting in well with his large pack. Connor isn't good in crowds and he's lost in Allen's pack. When Logan offers him a new life with just the two of them, he wants the change, but he's not sure what to expect.
Life with Logan and Sebastian is quiet and Connor loves seeing the two of them together. As he grows closer to them both, Connor knows he'll do anything to help the two of them mend their relationship. And, slowly, that relationship begins to include him as well.
"I don't want him here," Sebastian said, again.
It was an argument that was quickly getting old, and Logan hadn't even brought their new omega home yet. He sighed and tried to think of a reason to have Connor with them that he hadn't yet voiced. There wasn't one. Sebastian had heard them all before, and he was still apparently just as adamant about not having a stranger in their home as ever. "We need to do something. You're not sleeping—"
"It's too hot in our bedroom most nights," Sebastian broke in.
Logan knew that wasn't the case, regardless of his mate's excuses. "You're not really eating. You can't tell me it's too hot to eat."
Sebastian didn't have a counter for that.
"And," Logan pressed on, "you've been distant from everyone, even me. We barely touch anymore."
Sebastian shot him a hard glare. "So because we haven't had sex in a while, you're bringing in some cute little omega fuck-toy to replace me? Real nice, Logan." Sebastian pushed too far that time and now he was being mean. Logan got up from the lounge chair he'd been sitting on while they had tea on the back deck. He was almost angry enough to just go inside without saying anything more to Sebastian. Certainly his mate deserved that much from him for his outburst, but Logan wasn't like that. He knew Sebastian's anger was coming from his insecurities. He was lashing out, and Logan wished that he knew how to help him without bringing home an omega, but he had no idea what more to do when everything else had failed.
He bent down and kissed Sebastian on top of his head. His red curls tickled Logan’s nose and he lingered there against his mate's scalp, breathing in the wild honeysuckle and lilacs. He must have gone for a walk early that morning before Logan had woken up. "He won't replace you," Logan promised. "He'll help make sure I don't lose you."
Sebastian reached up and gently touched Logan's hand. The brief contact was more than Logan had received from his mate in hours. "You aren't going to lose me."
Logan wasn't so sure about that. "Thank you."
"We're not a love match, we can't just lose each other. It's not like the divorce that the humans have."
Logan wished that Sebastian hadn't tacked that on. They hadn't been a love match, no, but before whatever darkness this was that had come into their mating a few months before, they'd been in love. At least Logan had thought that they were. The first week had been awkward, but Logan had quickly found love with Sebastian, and it was breaking his heart to realize that his mate might not have felt it too after all.
"I need to get going. Since it's three hours there and three back, plus whatever time I need to spend there, I'll be home late tonight. If you're not still up I understand."
"I'll be up." Sebastian took a deep breath and turned to look up at him. Logan hated the tears he saw in Sebastian's eyes. "Be safe, okay? Don't drive off the road while he's blowing you or something."
Logan would have laughed, if Sebastian had been joking. But his mate was serious, and he didn't know how to convince Sebastian that he wasn't bringing Connor home to have sex with him. He kissed Sebastian, gave his shoulder a squeeze, and went inside to get his things together.
Sebastian was still on the back deck when Logan walked out the front door.
* * * *
After over three hours sitting in the car, the last hour of it in heavy traffic because of an accident on the highway, Logan was more than ready to be done with driving for a while once he got to his uncle's territory. Allen's pack was roughly the same size as the one Logan belonged to, with about forty adult werewolves, but they were all tightly crammed together in what amounted to a private werewolf subdivision. Logan couldn't live like that. He'd grown up in this kind of pack, but now that he knew what having the true freedom of a rural life with plenty of room to run felt like, he could never go back to living this close to other people, even his own kind.
The guard at the gate was a werewolf, and the woman directing traffic in front of the school was one too. There was a park, a small pool, and each house had a perfectly manicured lawn. It was all a little too much for Logan, which was why he rarely came back to his birth pack. His parents had requested a transfer early on when his father's interests had turned more agricultural, and for Logan, it was the best decision his father could have made for his family.
Allen's pack was spread out over maybe five acres. Logan and Sebastian had been given their own ten acres and a small manufactured house when they'd agreed to their union. Their house was smaller than the ones Logan was driving past now, but he was fine with not having four bedrooms and two bathrooms and a huge garage when he got acres of woods to run through whenever he wanted.
When Logan pulled up to yet another light gray house with dark blue shutters on the same street, a man stepped out of the house to greet him. Logan killed the engine quickly and stepped out. He offered the man his hand and received a hug instead.
"Um, hi," Logan said while awkwardly patting the man on his back. He was barely five feet, and likely only just over a hundred pounds. But he felt solid and whole in Logan's arms. "Are you Connor?" he guessed.
"I am," Connor said as he pulled back. "Are you Logan or Sebastian?"
Connor looked around him into the empty car. "Where's your mate?"