“With the mating bond, we can’t be without each other for too long. So I’ll have to go with you.” The hand Abner had on Carter’s neck fell away.
Motherfucker! Carter’s face scrunched up in anger. Of course the only reason Abner would offer to go was because they were mates and craved each other’s touch. Not because they were in love and couldn’t stand to be apart.
“Please don’t do me any favors.” Carter took a step away from Abner. “After all, god gave us two hands.” He raised his hands and wiggled his fingers around. “We should just start using them and save the trouble of having to be around one another.” Carter looked at Klaus. “I’ll be ready in an hour.”
Carter turned on his heel and headed up the stairs. He needed to pack his belongings. There was no telling when or if he’d be back. Part of him did want to come back, but there was another part that didn’t. Having to see Abner day in, day out, and the look of disappointment in his sky-blue eyes, was becoming harder and harder to bear. Maybe he could ask Carlos to concoct a potion for him to sever the bonding link between him and Abner. He was sick of punishing himself and making Abner suffer. A clean break could be exactly what they needed.
After he packed his suitcase and backpack, Carter went in search of his friends to say good-bye. He stopped by Ben and Miles’s room first. Miles was exhausted but managed to give him a hug and told him to hurry back. Carter just smiled but didn’t say anything else. They didn’t need him here and he didn’t want to upset them with his choice to not come back.
As he walked down the hallway, the sound of music met his ears. It was coming from Astrid’s room. Carter stopped to listen. The music was so soft and sad. Love and loss and letting go were the sweetly sung lines.
Carter slowly pushed Astrid’s door open to see his friend sitting in the middle of his bed on his laptop.
“Hey, Carter!” Astrid gave him one of his super-bright smiles that usually had the effect of making him smile in return, but not today.
“What is that?” Carter asked, his eyes watering.
“What?” Astrid tilted his head to the side. “The song?” Carter nodded his head, too afraid to speak. “Oh, it’s ‘Say Something’ by A Great Big World. Pretty cool song, huh? It’s so haunting, the lyrics and the artist’s voice.” Astrid wrapped his arms around his chest as if he were cold. “Gives me chills every time I listen to it.”
“Yeah.” Carter swiped a hand under his eye to catch the stray tear that broke free.
“Are you all right?” Astrid climbed off his bed and came to stand in front of Carter. His small hands cupped Carter’s cheeks. “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing.” Carter forced a smile on his face. He was going to miss his dear friend, but the lyrics of the song still played in his head. He feared that it might be time to give up on Abner. He’d do anything for his mate, but Abner wasn’t ready to accept his apologies and Carter didn’t know if his mate ever would. “I just came to say good-bye.”
“Good-bye?” Astrid’s hands fell back to his sides. “Where are you going?”
“The Council of Paranormal Beings has called me back home.” Carter shrugged. “More like my parents did, but still the same result. I leave in a few minutes and wanted to say bye before I left.”
“Will you be coming back?” Astrid asked in a voice so small Carter could barely hear it.
“I’m not sure, bud.” Carter rumbled a hand through Astrid’s hair. He’d trimmed his long locks into a short, shaggy-style haircut. Carter liked the look on Astrid. “But there is always text and email. I’ll only be a phone call away.”
“But what about Abner?”
“What about him?” The sharp spike of pain in his chest burned brighter every time he thought of his mate and leaving him behind.
“Is he going with you?”
“I don’t know.” Carter shook his head, then grinned through the pain. “But don’t you worry about us. I’m sure we’ll work out our differences eventually.”
“Promise?” Tears streaked down Astrid’s rosy-red cheeks.
“Ah, bud, you know I can’t promise something like that.” He pulled Astrid into a tight hug. “I hope and I pray every night that one day Abner and I will find a way to be together, but until then I just don’t know. I wasn’t the nicest person to him in the beginning and he’s a stubborn man with a memory a mile long.” He pushed Astrid an arm’s length away to stare into his sad eyes. “It takes two people to make a mating work.”
“I know!” Astrid gripped Carter’s hands in his. “Just promise you won’t give up yet.”
“Astrid.” Carter tried to turn away. There wasn’t much Astrid couldn’t get him to promise and he didn’t want to lie to his friend.
“Promise to not lose hope.” Astrid grinned. “Stranger things have happened.”
Carter laughed. “I’ll try not to give up just yet. Okay?”
“That’s all I can ask for.” Astrid reached up on his tiptoes to give Carter one last hug. “Please come back to us, Carter. This is your home, not the council.”
Carter walked out of Astrid’s room and back to his room. He grabbed his bags and stopped at the entryway to his room. With one last look at the place he’d called home for the past year, he said good-bye.
“You ready?” Klaus asked as Carter came down the stairs.
“Yep!” Carter followed Klaus out the front door. He didn’t bother to ask where Abner was. They needed a clean break, even if just for a while.
Carter tossed his shirt to the floor and shimmied out of his pants, then came up onto his knees. Abner’s hands went to his belt buckle but Carter smacked his hands away. He bent over and stuck out his tongue, licking upward from Abner’s slightly furred treasure trail up to the center of his chest, moving to tease his right nipple while he plucked at the left one with his fingers.
“So good,” Abner groaned as his fingers combed through Carter’s hair, clasping him to Abner’s chest.
Carter teased the dusty-rose-colored peaks for a few more minutes, then moved upward to sink his teeth into the soft skin where Abner’s shoulder and neck met. His mate tasted wild and bold, like the scent of a pine and smoke. Carter was getting drunk on the smell.
He let his hands quickly undo Abner’s buckle and pulled the fastening free. Carter then shoved his mate’s pants down his legs. Carter leaned back far enough to look down their bodies at the protruding cock. Abner’s dick was thick and heavily veined. The skin was pulled so tight around Abner’s erection, the skin looked purple. Carter wrapped his fingers around the solid length and gave a gentle stroke.
“Fuck yeah.” Abner jerked forward.
Carter dropped his head to kiss and suck his way up Abner’s neck to his jaw, never once stopping his hand from jacking Abner’s cock. Using his other hand, Carter fondled Abner’s balls, pulling and tugging. Abner spread his knees further apart and Carter reached back further. The heat coming from Abner’s center was scorching. Carter couldn’t resist. He eased his finger back toward Abner’s tight little hole and circled it. The muscle tensed and fluttered under his gentle touch.
“Carter,” Abner whispered, and pushed an inch away from Carter to look into his eyes. “Have you…” Abner’s voice trailed off. Carter watched him take a deep breath. “Would you mind…”
Carter wanted to smile at the perplexed look on his mate’s face. Abner’s cheeks were bright red and sweat dotted his forehead. He knew what Abner was trying to ask and Carter wanted to pump his fist in the air. In the twelve months he’d been with Abner, Carter had never once topped the man. Sure, he wanted to, but their encounters were often swift and finished within seconds. At the time, Carter was happy to get what he could but he wouldn’t deny he desperately wanted to be buried balls deep into his mate. There was something about how big and strong Abner was that made Carter want to see the man fall apart at his touch.
“What, Abner?” Carter applied a small amount of pressure to his finger, dipping the tip of his finger into Abner’s scalding heat. It took everything in Carter not to push Abner down on the bed and mount him. “Tell me what you need, baby?” He pushed the finger deeper and he could feel Abner’s thighs tremble.
“I want.” Abner bit his bottom lip, his head tilting back on his shoulders. “I want you inside me.” He looked up and met Carter’s eyes. “Will you make love to me?” he asked in a small voice, the sound so innocent and loving Carter’s eyes welled up with tears.
“I thought you’d never ask.” Carter covered Abner’s lips with his and teased his tongue over the seam until Abner opened up, sucking him in further.
Abner fell back to lie on his back, spreading his legs. Carter positioned himself between the massive tree trunks Abner called legs. He knew if Abner squeezed his thighs together, he could crush Carter in a heartbeat.
Carter broke the kiss to stretch over to the nightstand and pulled out the lube he stashed there for when he jerked off. He was young so that happened quite often.
Carter reclaimed Abner’s lips as he popped the cap and squirted the cool, clear liquid on his fingers. He let the tube fall to the bed and he painted his fingers over Abner’s hairy entrance. Abner shuddered beneath him and spread his thighs further apart. Carter started with one finger then quickly added another. He sat up and watched as his fingers sank deeper. Carter curled his fingers and massaged over Abner’s prostate, which sent his mate wailing in pleasure.
Abner’s entire body was flushed and glistening in sweat. The hard length jetting up toward Abner’s belly button dripped pre-cum, leaving a wet mark on Abner’s stomach.