Soulbound ‡ pact

by Wes Leigh

Chapter 10

"Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears."

-- Romeo, from Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

The old Dodge pickup pulled into the high school parking lot, radio blasting almost as loud as the wereboys inside, who were laughing and shouting at one another. The truck rolled to a stop. Connor and his friends piled out, with more playful shoves and raucous laughter.

In the shade of the drama building, vampire youth stood watching, frowning.

"Animals," Sebastian muttered.

Regina smirked. "True. But Connor does have a certain … monstrous appeal, wouldn't you say, Xavier?"

Xavier turned toward Regina, a bemused expression on his face. "I really don't have any idea what you mean, Regina."

"Oh?" she replied, smiling. "I think you do."

Xavier shook his head sadly. "Regina, unlike you, I don't spend every moment of the day focused on my crotch and who I might invite for the next visit."

Sebastian's jaw dropped.

Gregor doubled over in laughter.

The rest of the vampire youth waited with bated breath to see how Regina would respond.

Regina squinted at Xavier and clinched her jaw in anger. Finally finding words to say in response, she snapped, "Connor isn't my type, but judging by the erections you and Connor get in History, you seem to think it's appropriate for the future leader of our Covenant to fantasize about fucking a werewolf."

Several of the vampire youth gasped, waiting to see what Xavier would say.

Xavier stared at Regina, surprised by the venom in her voice, but then he chuckled and said, "Regina, dear, I see you're also preoccupied with my crotch and Connor's. You really need to find a new hobby."

Gregor and Sebastian laughed, relieved to hear Xavier wasn't taking Regina's comments seriously.

But Regina wasn't ready to give up so easily. "I'm not the only one who has seen it, Xavier. How do you explain the fact that you and Connor get hard around each other."

Xavier shook his head slowly as he laughed. "You really need me to explain how the body of a teenage boy works? Seriously?"

Now all the vampires were laughing, and Regina realized she had lost this battle. She glared at Xavier and stomped off, angry at herself for allowing Xavier to get the better of her.

There were no boners in History class that day. For some reason, Connor and Xavier were struggling to work together. The other students heard angry whispers as they argued about who should present each part of the project. The dispute became so animated that Mrs. McDuffey called them down and told them to resolve it quietly or to wait until after class if necessary.

In the hall after class, Connor and Xavier resumed their argument.

"We agreed on this last week," Connor said, his face turning red with frustration. "Why are you trying to change it up at the last minute."

"Last week, I thought you could do it," Xavier said, tight lipped. "This week, it's obvious that we're both going to get a poor grade because you can't handle your part of the presentation."

Students began gathering around, listening in to what was turning into a typical bit of high school drama. It was especially interesting because most of them had expected a blow-up for days now, wondering how long a vampire and werewolf could be forced to work together without getting into a massive argument.

Connor moved closer to Xavier, leaning over the shorter lad. "So the only way to get a good grade is for you to do the entire presentation?"

Xavier looked up and shoved his face into Connor's. "That's right. The only option."

Connor snorted. "I get it. The big dumb jock can't handle it? Is that what you're saying?"

"It's not what I'm saying, but if it's true …" Xavier left his words hanging in the air between them.

Connor backed up a step. "Maybe it has nothing to do with me being a football player," he suggested.

Xavier raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Then what is it?"

"Maybe it's all about your mother screwing up the play."

Xavier looked baffled. "What does that have to do with anything?"

"Give me a break," Connor said, irritated. "Your mother fucks with every damned thing in this town. She thinks she's in charge, and she can snap her fingers and everyone has to do what she wants. You're just like her. Her second-in-command. And you think you can change up our history project at the last minute and I'll just agree to whatever you want."

Xavier nodded slowly. "I see your point. My mother does tell other people how she wants things done, but then again, she knows how everything should be done. If you think I'm just like her, I take that as a compliment."

Connor took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. "We ain't changin' up the history project. I'll do my part. You do yours. Not everyone in this town does what the Smyth's demand." Connor stared hard at Xavier, waiting until he saw Xavier wink one eye quickly. Connor smiled in response.

Xavier, knowing that Connor had picked up his subtle signal, smiled in response. "Fine. We'll both get a failing grade. I'm sure Coach Allen won't mind and your position on the football team will be as secure as ever."

And with that, the argument ended, much to the chagrin of the watching students. They had all secretly hoped for a fist fight.

Connor and Xavier went their separate ways, confident that they had convinced everyone that they hated each other. Of course, it's easy to convince people of what they've already decided to believe.

Sebastian was struggling with one of his lines. "Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books, but love from love, toward school with heavy looks." He turned to Wolfie and shook his head, exasperated. "I don't get it. What the hell am I saying? What does it even mean?"

Wolfie chuckled from where he sat in the auditorium, watching the players practice. "Ah, yes, once again, Shakespeare has given us a memorable line that requires explanation to the modern ear." He stood up and approached the stage. "Let's break it down, shall we? The first half … say it again, please."

Sebastian glanced at the script in his hand. "Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books?"

"Right. Now what are schoolboys like when they're leaving their books behind and headed home after school? Hmmm? What are they doing?"

Standing nearby, Gregor replied, "Jumping with joy! Free at last!"

Wolfie slapped the stage with his hand. "Exactly! They're thrilled to be out of school, and Shakespeare is saying that two people in love are like those schoolboys, eager to reach their destination. But when you are forced to be away from someone you love …"

Sebastian frowned. "I don't know."

"What's the last half of the line?" Wolfie asked.

Sebastian read, "But love from love, toward school with heavy looks." He shrugged and said, "I still don't get it."

Wolfie looked at Gregor, who also shrugged. Then Wolfie turned to Xavier.

Xavier sighed as he explained, "When two lovers are unable to be together, they're like schoolboys headed back to class, with sad faces."

"Very good," Wolfie said with a grin. "That is the essence of how Romeo and Juliet are feeling. Their love is fresh and new. They want to be together. It's the only thing they think about, but because of their families, they can't. Now do you understand the line?"

Sebastian nodded slowly. "Okay. I get it. But it's crap."

Wolfie looked at Sebastian in surprise. "Oh? Why do you say that?"

"That's not how love really works. Not for guys anyway. Maybe girls get all sad and mopey if they can't be with the guy they want, but guys just deal with it. You know?"

Regina glared at Sebastian, then threw her script in his face and stomped off.

"Hey!" Sebastian shouted. "Why'd you do that?"

Gregor laughed softly. "Dude, have you forgotten what is coming up next week?"

Sebastian, puzzled, asked, "What?"

"Homecoming, my man," Gregor said with a smile. "And you asked Regina to be your date."

Sebastian, still clueless, asked, "What does that have to do with anything?"

Gregor couldn't help but laugh at Sebastian's confusion. "Let's just say Regina is really getting into her role as Juliet. I think she has a crush on you, Sebastian, especially now that she can't have Xavier."

Sebastian thought carefully about what Gregor was saying, then he sighed, "Fuck. How did I not notice?"

Gregor threw an arm around Sebastian's shoulders. "You're really going to enjoy Homecoming, my man."

Wolfie struggled to control his laughter as he summoned several other actors to center stage to practice a different scene. He sent Gregor and Xavier off to help Sebastian with his lines and to find a way to patch things up with Regina.

Sebastian didn't need much help, so Xavier looked around, bored. He glanced in the wings of the stage, where he saw Connor, Donny, and Ethan practicing thrusts with prop swords. Earlier that evening, the three wereboys had shown up at rehearsals, nervously offering to be in the play. Donny and Ethan had seemed to be unwilling participants, but Connor actually volunteered to take on a speaking role, something short enough that he'd have no trouble memorizing it, and Wolfie had gratefully assigned him the part of the Verona prince, who had only a few lines at the end of the play.

Perhaps this would work out after all, Xavier thought. Connor seemed sincere about participating. And now he was working with his wolf friends on their sword play, cuffing them on the heads if they became too wild with it, admonishing them to take it seriously. All Minerva's schemes could fail and that would serve her right, especially if Connor turned out to be a good actor. Fortunately, Wolfie had given Xavier the perfect excuse to spend more time with Connor when he asked Xavier to coach Connor on his lines and delivery.

Regina was furious when she heard, muttering something about first History and now the play bringing the two boys together again. Then she walked away, angry about fate fucking her over. Xavier had laughed, hearing that. He didn't know if fate was throwing him together with Connor, but it served his purpose. Though the two of them were acting as if they didn't want to around each other, Xavier was beginning to sense that Connor felt more than friendship for him.

Watching Connor talk to Donny and Ethan, Xavier felt his cock tingle and begin to get a bit chunky. Yes … definitely more than friendship.

Connor looked around and saw Xavier staring at them. He pretended to look away, but he kept darting glances back at Xavier, and at one point, he grinned. Xavier felt his heart pounding in response. Much like a schoolboy headed home away from his books.

Yes, Shakespeare, though wordy at times, knew exactly what he was talking about.

"Are you going?" Xavier whispered. The history project was mostly complete, and there was very little more that he and Connor needed to do before they would be ready to present it. They were sitting side by side in History class, looking over their presentation one last time.

Connor nodded his head slightly and whispered, "Yes, I'm taking Deborah Murphy. It's expected of me."

"Because you're on the football team?"

Connor nodded again. "And because we're engaged."

"WHAT?" Xavier's question was louder than he planned. Mrs. McDuffey looked over her glasses at him, so Xavier leaned down and lowered his voice to ask, "In marriage?"

"Yeah," Connor admitted, his whisper sounding sad and defeated. "I don't love her, but the Pack expects it. I'm the future alpha. I have to have a mate."

"Did you give her a ring and all that?" Xavier asked.

"Sort of. It was the werewolf equivalent. We had our courting meal at the Lodge and then the mating ritual and the courtship run through the forest."

"So you two have … ummmm …?"

"No," Connor said, trying not to grin. "Not yet. I suppose eventually I'll have to, but so far my cock has never been up inside another wolf. At least, not one of the girls …"

Xavier grinned. "Oh?"

Connor actually blushed as he replied, "It's just messing around. Mounting each other to show dominance, you know? That's all."

"So you've never done it for love? Never made love to anyone else?"

Connor shook his head. "Nah. I've never been in love. What about you?"

Xavier took a deep breath. The question was bound to have come up sooner or later, and he didn't want to fall apart answering it this time. "Yes, I've been in love. A long time ago."

"The guy you mentioned? Your friend, Jack?"

"Yes. He lived with me and Gregor in Whitechapel. He was a part of the family. I loved him, and he loved me."

"The two of you did … sex stuff together?"

Xavier nodded, then giggled. "Lots of sex stuff."

"Was it good?"

"It was wonderful. But I thought you said you've mounted some of the other wereboys? Why are you asking me if it was good?"

Connor lowered his voice even more. "I have. But I'm kinda big … down there … and they can't take it very long before they have to pull off. They say it hurts too much." Connor and Xavier both giggled. Connor continued, "So it's always been quick. Rushing to get it done before they cramp up. It's never felt like making love to me, and I've always wanted to know what that's like."

Xavier swallowed hard as he recalled the first night Jack slowly sat down, impaling himself on Xavier's cock, and then leaned down to kiss Xavier's lips with tears of painful joy in his eyes. Xavier whispered, "It's truly wonderful."

"You miss him, don't you?"

"With all my heart."

"Do you ever think you'll find someone else you love as much?" Connor asked, glancing at Xavier with a wistful glance.

Do I? Xavier asked himself. Will I find someone else to love? Have I found someone, and I'm scared to let myself go because I don't want to be disloyal to the memory of Jack?

Xavier stared into Connor's green eyes and whispered, "Yes, I do."

Connor blinked, then smiled, and whispered, "Will you tell me if it happens?"

Xavier grinned. "You'll be the first to know."

The Homecoming game was a massive blowout. With Connor dominating on defense, the Agony Cougars demolished the visiting Allentown Mustangs, 42 to 0. Casey Sanger had a great night as the Cougar quarterback, scoring at will. Even young Caleb Allen, as the fullback, managed to score a touchdown. As for the Mustangs, they never posed a serious threat, struggling to make any yardage with Connor running free in their backfield play after play.

The Agony stands rocked slightly from the fans jumping around and celebrating.

The band gave a halftime show everyone would be talking about for weeks to come.

And the football team was mobbed when the final seconds ticked off the clock, with students swarming the field and hugging the players, who celebrated the easy win with helmets held high.

Eventually, Coach Allen was able to herd the players to the field house for their showers by reminding them they had a dance to attend.

For the first time, Connor's cock wasn't plumping up in the hot water at the sight of all the naked boys around him. He was too scared to get hard. All he could think about was the dance later that night and what was expected of him as Deborah's date.

Xavier entered the school gymnasium with Gabrielle Dubayne on his arm. She was a pale vampire with long silver locks and a cold personality, but she'd eagerly accepted his invitation to the dance, delighting at the opportunity to rub it in Regina's face.

Regina and Sebastian seemed to have worked out their differences, because they were smiling as they walked in behind Xavier and Gabrielle. All four were dressed in expensive tuxedos and evening gowns, black of course, though Xavier had a blood red cummerbund and Gabrielle a matching red corsage. Regina's dark purple corsage matched Sebastian's waistband. They were perfectly attired, in the manner of the wealthiest of vampire youth.

Connor and Deborah entered the gym a half hour later. Connor looked uncomfortable in the suit he wore, tugging at the collar to get more air. It was tight on him, for he'd put on even more muscle playing football, so all his clothes strained to contain his swollen body. Standing next to him, Deborah was stunning in her deep green gown, her blond hair cascading down her back. Regina and Gabrielle sniffed when they saw her and turned away, jealous of the weregirl's beauty and the muscular boy she was with.

Xavier glanced at Connor and Deborah, then looked away. The two looked like the perfect couple, the future leaders of the Silvermane Pack. His heart betrayed him and ached at the thought. But that was foolish. It wasn't like he could ever be Connor's date at a dance.

The school principal asked for everyone's attention and made a series of boring announcements about what type of conduct was acceptable at the dance. The list of unacceptable behaviors made several students giggle. Xavier didn't care. He was certain that he and Gabrielle would be the model students. Couldn't have Minerva getting upset over the way they represented the Covenant, right?

The band moved forward and started with a fast-paced song that brought a cheer from the students and a mass surge toward the dance floor for the first dance.

Xavier didn't fancy being bumped and smashed, so he asked Gabrielle if she'd like a drink. She nodded, so he headed for the refreshment table. As he made his way through the crowd, he saw Connor headed in the same direction.

Connor noticed Xavier and nodded. "Getting something to drink?"

"Yes," Xavier replied, having to shout slightly to be heard over the music.

"I'm getting Deborah something," Connor explained, picking up two plastic cups.

"Same. I mean, I'm getting Gabrielle a drink."

Connor chuckled at Xavier's misstatement. "The band sounded great at halftime. Did you play the solo again?"

Xavier nodded as he poured punch in two cups. "You were amazing on the field, as usual. Are you planning to destroy every team we play this year."

Connor smiled and snarled, "With a vengeance!"

Laughing, Xavier picked up the cups. "I look forward to watching." He carried the cups to where Sebastian, Regina, and Gabrielle were still standing, talking. Glancing back over his shoulder once, Xavier saw Connor looking at him. Xavier couldn't be certain, but it seemed Connor wanted something from him.

Somehow, Connor made it through three dances with Deborah, feeling completely foolish the entire time, but Deborah reassured him, telling him he was a great dancer. He didn't believe her, but he appreciated her consideration. While she chatted with some of the other students, Connor excused himself, saying he needed some fresh air.

Walking outside the gym, the night sky was filled with sparkling stars. The air was crisp. His breath actually fogged up around him. He shoved his hands into his pockets and walked slowly around to the side of the gym, pausing when he saw a shadowy figure next to the wall. His eyes began to adjust and he realized it was Xavier.

Xavier waved one hand in greeting. "You had to get out of there too?"

"Three dances in a row. I needed to cool off."

Xavier nodded. "I haven't danced at all."

"Then why are you out here."

"I suppose because I don't want to be in there."

"With Gabrielle?"

Another nod.

"She's quite pretty."

Xavier giggled. "If you like pale, wispy, bitter women."

Connor chuckled. "I don't."

"Neither do I. Deborah looks stunning."

Connor shrugged. "Yes, she does. If you like gorgeous, sexy, werewolf girls."

Xavier laughed. "I don't."

Connor moved closer. "Neither do I."

Xavier looked up, surprised. He saw Connor moving in, eyes sparkling in the moonlight, lips moist. Xavier shivered. Inches apart now, Xavier wanted to tip his head up slightly, just enough for their lips to touch. But he couldn't. He slipped to the side and moved away, mumbling, "I'd better get back inside. They're probably wondering where I am."

Xavier moved past Connor and walked quickly toward the door of the gymnasium, leaving Connor staring at his back, confused and embarrassed.

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