Soulbound ‡ pact

by Wes Leigh

Chapter 11

"Under love's heavy burden do I sink."

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

"We're next," Connor whispered.

"Yes," Xavier replied, with a sigh.

It had been awkward. The moment outside the homecoming dance was still fresh in their thoughts, embarrassing for Connor, frustrating for Xavier. A dozen times every day Connor asked himself why he'd tried to kiss Xavier. A dozen times every day Xavier asked himself why he hadn't let it happen.

Now, sitting in History class, waiting for Regina and Jasmine to finish their presentation, Connor and Xavier couldn't focus on their own presentation to come while memories of the abortive kiss continued to remind them of what almost was.

Xavier stared at his note cards. He didn't need them, not with his photographic memory, but Connor had asked to use the cards for his part of the presentation, so they'd written out what each person was going to say. Xavier pulled a blank card from his backpack and scribbled a quick message on it before sliding it to Connor. I have to know… why did you do it?

Connor glanced down at the note card, read what Xavier wrote, and picked up a pen. Writing quickly, he wrote his answer and slid it back to Xavier. I don't know why. It felt right at the time. Why did you pull away?

Xavier read Connor's reply and wrote again. I don't know. I guess I wasn't ready. I'm scared of what might happen.

When Connor read Xavier's answer, he ducked his head and wrote again. Are you scared of me?

Connor's question saddened Xavier. He wrote quickly. No. Not of you. Big, bad wolf!

Connor chuckled when he read that, drawing the attention of several other students, but fortunately not Mrs. McDuffey, who was shaking her head in disappointment at Jasmine's presentation. Connor smirked as he wrote. I ain't scared of you either, bloodsucker!! So what's wrong with a kiss between friends?

Xavier read what Connor wrote and thought about it for some time. Jasmine finally finished rambling about the Peace Garden, to polite applause from the other students, prompting Mrs. McDuffey to wave Jasmine and Regina back to their seats. Checking her notes, she said, "Xavier and Connor, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Ready, gentlemen?"

The two boys nodded and stood up, moving down the aisle to the front of the classroom.

Talking about Roosevelt, his presidential ambitions, and the beginning of the conservation movement in the state was a welcome break for both boys. Their presentation was well done, cleanly presented, and clearly thoroughly researched. Mrs. McDuffey complimented them when they finished, and several of their classmates congratulated them at the end of class.

For the sake of appearances, in front of their fellow werewolves and vampires, Xavier and Connor gave each other a cold farewell, pretending to be relieved to no longer be working together.

At the end of the day, Connor opened his locker to store his books and found the note card he and Xavier had been writing on. At the bottom, Xavier had scrawled: Nothing wrong with just a kiss, but I'm afraid of where the kiss might take us next.

Connor crumpled the note card in frustration and threw it into his locker, then shoved his books inside and slammed the locker door. Spinning around, he saw Xavier watching him from the other side of the hallway.

Xavier seemed to blinking back tears, struggling to control the emotions threatening to overwhelm him. He wanted Connor in his life, not as just a friend, but how could a vampire and a werewolf ever be lovers?

Connor walked quickly across the hallway and stopped in front of Xavier. The hall was empty now, with no one to see them. Connor leaned in quickly and kissed Xavier before he could pull away.

Xavier looked up at the taller boy, shocked at Connor's impulsiveness.

"There," Connor said. "The kiss is over. Where do we go next?"

Xavier studied Connor's face. He saw desire and hope, but also uncertainty.

Xavier reached up to place one hand gently on Connor's cheek. Xavier leaned forward and tenderly kissed Connor's lips, once, twice, then he whispered, "I wish it could work, but we both know it can't."

Xavier sighed and pushed on Connor's chest, gently backing him away. Then Xavier walked down the hall, leaving Connor standing there.

Sebastian lifted the tiny vial to his lips and quickly drank the swirling red liquid. He grimaced at the taste, then opened his eyes wide in surprise. "O true apothecary, thy drugs are quick." He leaned down over Regina and kissed her tenderly on the lips. "Thus … with a kiss … I die." Sebastian collapsed on top of Regina, pinning her beneath his chest.

The audience watched, waiting as silence fell in the auditorium. They were entranced, completely caught up in the story of Romeo and Juliet, as it had been presented by the young people of Agony High School. Now, with Romeo dead and prone across the unconscious Juliet, though everyone knew what was coming next, they still gasped when Regina sat up and saw to her horror that her lover was now dead across her lap.

Regina took the now empty vial from Sebastian and held it up to the light, blinking back her tears when she realized what had happened. "What's here? A cup closed in my true love's hand?"

She turned the flask from side to side and gasped. "Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end."

Lifting the bottle to her lips she tried to suck out a few more drops. "O churl! Drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after!"

She lifted Sebastian's face and leaned down, speaking in a loud stage whisper, "I will kiss thy lips. Haply some poison yet doth hang on them to make me die with a restorative." Her lips brushed against Sebastian's, then pressed desperately against his. She pulled away, tears falling down her cheeks. "Thy lips are warm!" she gasped.

From the wings of the stage came the sound of approaching footsteps. Connor, dressed as the Prince of Verona, shouted, "Lead, boy. Which way?"

Regina looked around, frantically searching Sebastian's body and finding his dagger on his hip. She lifted it out of the sheath and turned it in her hand, watching as the light reflected off the blade. She glanced to the side, where Connor waited in the wings. Nodding her head, she asked, "Yea, noise? Then I'll be brief." She held the knife up and cried, "O, happy dagger, this is thy sheath." She brought the blade quickly down and into her own body. "There rust," she moaned, "and let me die."

She collapsed backward, her hand clasping Sebastian's as she gave her final breath.

Connor waited a few seconds, then walked onto the stage, taking in the sight of the two lost lovers finally reunited in endless sleep. Connor walked slowly around the bodies of Romeo and Juliet. He shook his head sadly, sighed, and looked out over the audience. His voice was dark with remorse. "For never was a story of more woe … than this … of Juliet and her Romeo." He glanced sideways and saw Xavier waiting in the wings, watching him.

Their eyes connected.

Connor's heart pounded and he felt the weight of the world against them, settling on his broad shoulders. Struggling to hold back his emotions, he quickly turned his back on Xavier and walked off the stage as the audience rose to its feet and applauded thunderously. Donny and Ethan met Connor, smiling broadly and hugging him quickly.

"They liked it," Donny said, peeking around Connor at the audience, still on its feet, clapping and cheering. "They really liked it!"

"Yeah. I thought it would be a pain in the ass, but it was actually kind of fun," Ethan admitted.

Connor simply nodded his head, unable to speak.

"Come on," Donny urged. Time for our bows!"

The three walked out onto the stage, joining the other actors as they gathered in a line across the front of the stage, where they joined hands and gracefully lowered their heads in acknowledgement of the applause. Connor glanced sideways and saw Xavier, dressed as Mercutio, executing a graceful bow. The audience continued clapping and cheering.

Sebastian and Regina stood up and the line of actors separated to allow them to walk to the front of the stage and join in acknowledging the cheers of the audience, which were now deafening.

Donny snickered and mumbled, "They FUCKING loved it!"

Ethan grinned and punched his brother on the shoulder.

The audience continued clapping, giving the actors three standing ovations, which Connor and Xavier had to endure with smiles, pretending their hearts weren't breaking.

Connor walked slowly to his pickup, head down, studying the ground as he placed one foot in front of the other. Reaching his truck, he paused and looked up. Xavier was standing next to it, waiting for him.

Connor walked up and turned, leaning back against the side of the truck next to Xavier. "What do want?" he asked.

"I need to say something to you, Connor."

"Oh? So say it."

"I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"For being afraid. Afraid of where a kiss might take us."

"Are you still afraid?" Connor asked.

Xavier nodded. "I am, so I wanted to let you know that I regret it's something we'll never experience."

Connor swallowed hard. "Never? No possible way of making this work?"

Xavier shook his head. "I don't see any way to do it."

Connor sighed, then asked, "You do know this Romeo and Juliet stuff ain't real, right?"

Frowning, Xavier asked, "What do you mean?"

"Romeo and Juliet. It's a great story and all, but it ain't real. It's just a bunch of words written by an old dude who was really good at twisting our emotions with cute little phrases like, 'Thus with a kiss, I die.' But life isn't really like that, Xavier. If I kiss you, you won't die."

Xavier didn't reply right away. Tears began to gather in his eyes. Finally, he whispered, "That's just it, Connor. I can't die. I'm a vampire, and I get to live forever, watching my lovers die one by one, leaving me to suffer eternally. Jack was the first. If I fall in love with you, you'll die one day too. You're a werewolf, so it will probably be violent and horrible, and I'll be left all alone again."

Connor turned quickly and grabbed Xavier in his arms. Pulling Xavier close, Connor placed his face inches away and urgently insisted, "I won't do that to you, Xavier. I won't leave you like Jack did. I won't let that happen."

Xavier shook his head, denying Connor's promise. "You can't guarantee that, Connor. No one can. I want to believe you. I want to think that somehow this will work, that somehow you and I can be lovers, but it's not our destiny. I know this is reality, not some play, but it's no different than the play. Romeo and Juliet tried everything they could to be together and they couldn't do it. We can't do it."

Connor shook Xavier gently. "Stop it, Xavier. Stop saying we can't make this work, because I know we can."

"How can you be so sure, Connor? Don't you see all the challenges stacked against us? Aren't you afraid too?"

Connor released Xavier and stepped back. He nodded his head and admitted, "Yeah, I'm afraid, Xavier, but I'm a werewolf. Fear doesn't stop me. It drives me forward. It makes my hackles rise and brings a growl from my belly up to my throat, making my blood pump and my muscles coil, preparing me to attack whatever is threatening me, whatever it is I'm afraid of. That's how I respond to fear." Connor placed his hands on Xavier's shoulders and gently asked, "What are you afraid of, Xavier?"

Xavier looked up into Connor's eyes, now staring intently into his own. "I'm afraid to love you, Connor. I'm afraid to let you in my life and then lose you."

Connor nodded slowly. "Anything else?"

Xavier swallowed hard, then added, "Most of all, I'm afraid I'll make the biggest mistake of my life if I walk away from you."

Connor grinned. "Then growl with me, Xavier. Let your wolf out and we'll attack this fear together."

Xavier chuckled. "I don't have an inner wolf. I'm a vampire, remember?" He looked up at Connor and gulped. "I can't believe I'm saying this, Connor, but … damn it … I have to try to love one more time. To love you. I have … to … just …"

Connor pulled Xavier up and covered Xavier's mouth with his own, stopping his fumbling words with a passionate kiss.

Xavier sighed and gave in completely, kissing Connor, loving him.

Perhaps Shakespeare did get one thing right. With that kiss, his fears finally died.

Connor drove slowly up the mountain road, bumping along the rutted track. He made a mental note to ask his dad about grading the road and repairing some of the bigger holes the next time they came up to do repairs on the old cabin. Some of the ruts were so big, the truck bounced violently from side to side, even though he was driving slowly and carefully.

Xavier didn't seem to mind. He braced himself against the violent lurching with one hand on the dash and the other against Connor's arm. There was no question Xavier could have teleported up the hill faster and more comfortably, but he was grinning at Connor and enjoying the brain-jarring journey up the mountain.

Connor smiled back, overjoyed to have Xavier next to him in the old pickup. He could have parked at the base of the mountain and shifted into wolf form, leading Xavier up the hill, but there was nothing more fun than bouncing up the mountain road with Xavier laughing next to him.

Reaching the end of the road, they stopped in front of a rustic cabin. It had seen better days and needed a new roof. There was no electricity. Water came from a natural spring behind the cabin, heat in the winter from a fireplace. It was crudely furnished with simple furniture: chairs and a table with a large bed in one corner. Connor had checked everything the day before, spending hours in the cabin, cleaning and dusting and sweeping. He had wanted it to be perfect.

And it was. Xavier climbed out of the pickup and looked around in awe. They were high up on the peak of a small mountain, with the forest of Juniper pines spreading out below them on every side. The cabin seemed to grow from mountain itself, its walls a faded gray, its slate roof a deeper black. Xavier turned in a slow circle taking it all in, then faced Connor and smiled.

Connor held out one hand, shy now that they were here, the two of them, far from judging eyes and family regulations.

Xavier moved forward and took Connor's hand. His skin was warm against Xavier's chilly touch, reminding them both of their differences. Xavier started to release Connor's hand, but Connor held tight and pulled him close, reaching up to touch Xavier's cheek. Again, warm fingers caressed cold skin, making Xavier shiver. Somehow, the warmth in Connor's touch penetrated past the grave chill he always felt.

Connor turned and tugged on Xavier's hand, pulling him to the cabin door. Connor turned the knob and opened the door, inviting Xavier inside. The cabin was fresh, filled with the scent of the evergreen boughs Connor had spread on the fireplace mantle. Wood was stacked inside the fireplace, ready to be lit. Candles were arranged in the center of the table. Clean, thick blankets were spread on the bed.

Xavier smiled as he took in all of Connor's preparations. He walked around the cabin, looking at everything, smiling coyly when he noticed a small bottle of lube on the table next to the bed. Connor had thought of everything, apparently.

Xavier turned around to see Connor lighting the candles on the table, a dozen of them, of various heights and mismatched shapes. He'd probably scrounged them wherever he could find them. As they flickered to life, they created a warm glow in the middle of the room, which they would need now that the sun was setting over the distant mountains.

When Connor finished lighting the last candle, he turned to Xavier, suddenly nervous. He gulped as he approached Xavier and held out his hands.

Xavier grinned and reached out to take Connor's. They clasped fingers and slowly pulled each other close, tilting their heads to the side as their lips touched. Their breaths mingled, ice water and warm blood.

Connor shivered and pressed his lips against Xavier's.

Xavier sighed and pushed back, eager now that the moment had come.

They tasted each other, tongues dancing, and moaned in delight. Without consciously willing it, their bodies pulled together. Hands slipped around to caress and hold. Hips pressed together, hard, straining lumps swelling in their pants and aching to be free.

Xavier slipped one hand between them and cupped Connor's groin. He squeezed gently, causing Connor to groan as they kissed. Connor slid his hand down and felt Xavier's long shaft, pointing to one side, stretching the fabric of his pants.

They ended their kiss and stared into each other's eyes, silently asking if the moment had arrived, agreeing it had, pleading for it to be soon.

Eagerly now, they unfastened buttons and slipped down zippers, pulling and tugging until their shirts were on the floor behind them and their pants were down at their knees.

Xavier slowly stroked Connor, marveling at the long, heavy shaft and the folds of skin that slipped over the tip and then back behind the cap.

Connor tenderly fondled Xavier's thin cock, rubbing his thumb over the circumcision scar, up to the tip, where a drop of liquid oozed out at his touch.

With hands gripping and squeezing, they came together again and kissed a second time.

Even with the lube, it took patience and slow pressure for Connor to enter Xavier. With Xavier on his back, looking up at Connor, they were able to stare into each other's eyes as Connor's thick cock penetrated Xavier at last. Xavier moaned, amazed at how much Connor was stretching him open. Connor paused, waiting to be sure he wasn't hurting Xavier, but Xavier smiled and pulled on Connor's hips, urging him to slide deeper.

Connor shifted his knees on the bed and slowly pressed his hips forward, glancing down to see his thick shaft disappearing into Xavier. When he was fully inside with his auburn pubes smashed between them, he smiled and leaned down to kiss Xavier.

Xavier's eyes were now closed, unable to believe he had taken all that Connor had to offer, so full, stretched and aching, but wonderful. He felt Connor's lips on his own and opened his mouth, eager to have Connor's tongue penetrating as well.

Slowly, Connor began thrusting.

Eagerly, Xavier's body opened up and accepted the welcome invasion.

Faster now, hips slapping, tongues dancing.

Hard and deep. Pausing. Feeling Xavier's body squeezing down, massaging, rippling with pleasure. Thrusting again, harder, probing secret joys repeatedly until Xavier gasped and clung to Connor's shoulders, shouting as his cock pulsed between them.

Connor stopped, waiting for the spasms to end, then kissed Xavier gently and began again, slowly building up speed.

Pounding now. Xavier moaning and clutching frantically at Connor's arms. Connor panting. Breath hot upon his soulmate. Bodies joining in bliss. One final thrust. Explosive. Pulsing. And falling forward, collapsing.

Chests slowly filling with shuddering breaths.

Hearts beating and pounding in unison, slowing together, in perfect harmony.

Finally, sleeping. Bodies pressed together, still stretched, still penetrating. And souls equally bound.

Xavier was the first to awaken. They were now side by side. Connor's cock had slipped out, but was still hard between them. Xavier touched the monstrous appendage and smiled. "How big does he get when he transforms into a werewolf?" he whispered, sliding the foreskin down to expose the purple cap.

Connor chuckled. "A couple of inches longer," he said, smiling with his eyes still closed.

Xavier laughed. "You're awake?"

"Yeah. I am now. 'Cause someone's playing with my weiner."

"Just admiring it."

"You like it, old man?"

Xavier looked up at Connor and laughed. "Old man?"

Connor nodded. "You're definitely older than me. By what? A hundred years. You should know better, messing around with an impressionable sixteen-year-old. Corrupting me."

Xavier frowned. "You're absolutely right. I'm an old vampire corrupting a young werewolf. Maybe we should stop now …"

Connor pinched Xavier's nipple playfully. "Nope. We can't stop now. We're star-crossed lovers, just like Romeo and Juliet. We can't be together, but we are."

"You understand why, don't you?" Xavier asked, reaching up to stroke Connor's cheek. "Why we belong together despite the stars and our families being against us?"

"I don't really think about it. All my life, I've had to fight. Fighting to survive. Fighting to fit in to the Pack. I just figured I'd have to fight for your love, too."

"I won't make you fight to love me, Connor. This love we share is stronger than any destiny the stars have prepared for us. It's stronger than our family heritage and traditions. Stronger than all our fears combined. You helped me to realize that."

Connor chuckled. "That's some powerful love."

Xavier nodded. "It is. It's a soul-binding love. Our souls have chosen to be together, despite the differences in our nature, our age, and everything else. We're connected now, and nothing can break us apart."

"That's fine by me … old man!"

Xavier pushed Connor onto his back and jumped up to straddle the larger boy. "You're going to pay dearly for that 'old man' remark, wolfboy!" Xavier reached behind him and grabbed Connor's cock, rubbing the tip against his hole until he felt it begin to penetrate, then sitting back with a sigh as Connor slid inside, stretching him open once again.

"Wolfboy?" Connor asked with a laugh.

Xavier nodded solemnly, rocking his hips slowly, forcing Connor deeper with each movement of his body. "Go wolf, for me, Connor. I want to see just how much bigger you get!"

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