Authors: Stormy Glenn
Tags: #Glenn, #Stormy
“You’ll stay with me?”
Tommy grinned. “I won’t leave your side.”
Elliot hesitated for another moment then nodded slowly. He still didn’t look like he was in favor of going downstairs, but Tommy had to admit to himself he was glad Elliot agreed. He needed his family’s help to figure out what was going on with Elliot and keep him safe. He was pretty sure things were bigger than he could handle on his own.
Tommy stood and held out a hand to Elliot. “Come on, pretty baby, let’s go get something to eat and see how things are going.”
“Are they going to ask me a bunch of questions?”
Tommy tried to hide his grimace as he watched Elliot take his hand and get up, walking with him to the bedroom door. “I’m sure there will be lots of questions, and you need to be prepared for that. Just be honest and tell them everything they want to know. Everyone is just trying to help us.”
“What if I don’t want to answer?”
“Then tell them that. They may not like it, but they can’t force it out of you. However, I think the more that we know, the better we can deal with this situation.”
Elliot frowned. “Just what exactly is this situation?”
“Well.” Tommy chuckled lightly. “I’d say the first is that you can shift. That’s pretty big. The second situation is dealing with your father. Now that we know you can shift, that changes things a bit.”
“You’re a shifter, Elliot. You had to come from somewhere. Shifters don’t just appear out of thin air. We’re born. Granted, we don’t have to have two shifter parents, only one needs to be a shifter, but which one of yours was the shifter? That could change things a bit.”
Tommy squeezed Elliot’s hand when he heard the tremble in the man’s voice. “Not how you are thinking, pretty baby. Nothing changes between us, ever. We’re mates and that means forever.”
“Then what do you mean?” Elliot asked, tilting his face up.
“Knowing that one of your parents was a shifter means that we have to go at this whole situation with your father in a different way. I would think he knows about you, which he knows about us. We have to be more cautious.”
“Oh, your family is sure to hate me now,” Elliot groaned.
“Oh no, Elliot, not at all, I promise.” Tommy paused at the bottom of the stairs to tilt Elliot’s head back. “No, pretty baby, they don’t hate you. In fact, they are thrilled for us. We just need to go about things differently now.”
Tommy’s heart went out to his little mate when he felt the man’s head fall against his chest. He couldn’t wait for a time when there wasn’t any drama in their lives. Elliot deserved to be happy, and Tommy hoped he could provide that for him.
“It’ll be okay, pretty baby,” Tommy whispered against the top of Elliot’s head. “I promise.”
“You’ve said that before, Tommy.” The small sniffle that came from Elliot stabbed at Tommy’s heart. “And you’ve been wrong. Everything is not okay.”
“Okay, everything may not be okay…at the moment. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future.” Tommy grabbed Elliot’s head and tilted it back again. “And this time, we’re together. We’re not trying to do this alone, pretty baby. We have each other. That has to make a difference.”
“It does.” Elliot laughed nervously. His hand fisted and tapped against Tommy’s chest. “I just wish that we didn’t have to go through all this crap. I just want us to go away somewhere safe where no one can bother us.”
“I’ll start making plans right away.” Tommy chuckled. “Do you want sandy beaches or mountain streams?”
Elliot snorted and turned to walk toward the kitchen. “How about somewhere on a deserted island where no one can find us?”
“Done.” Although Tommy didn’t have a clue where to start looking for that deserted island. But if that’s what his baby wanted, he wouldn’t stop until he found one.
Just as they walked past the archway to the living room, Tommy heard the front door open. He glanced over to see his brother, Jim, walking in with his mate, Donovan. Right behind Donovan was his brother, Chase.
“Hey, Elliot, there’s a couple of people I’d like to introduce you to. Hold up a minute.”
Elliot stopped and glanced over his shoulder. Tommy could see the man’s anxiety in the paleness of his face, the tight pinch in his features. Still, Elliot turned and stepped closer, his body practically pushing into Tommy’s.
Tommy wrapped an arm around Elliot’s shoulder and pulled him into the living room. The people in the room turned as one wave and looked at the both of them. Tommy tightened his grip on Elliot when he felt the man cringe and press closer to him.
“Jim, Donovan, Chase, I’d like to introduce you to my mate, Elliot.”
Jim stepped forward, his hand held out to Elliot, a welcoming smile on his face. “Elliot, it’s nice to finally meet you. I didn’t think my brother would ever find anyone that could put up with him.”
Elliot shrank back, edging slightly behind Tommy. When Elliot’s hands gripped his shirt, Tommy thought the fabric might rip. Elliot was shaking. Tommy reached back and grabbed Elliot, smiling in apology to his brother at the confused frown on Jim’s face.
“Elliot, baby, Jim’s not going to hurt you,” Tommy said as he pulled his mate out from behind him. Elliot was still hesitant but he didn’t fight Tommy. “This is my brother, Jim. He’s okay for an older brother.”
Tommy chuckled at Jim’s pretend outrage. He felt the tension start to loosen from Elliot’s body and pulled the man closer to his chest. “This is Donovan, Jim’s mate, and his brother, Chase.”
Jim smiled and stepped back as Donovan and Chase stepped forward. Donovan started to hold out his hand then paused, a quizzical expression coming over his face as he suddenly started sniffing the air.
“Chase, do you—” Donovan started only to be interrupted by a low menacing growl from Chase. Before Tommy could stop him, Chase reached over and grabbed Elliot. He swung around and pinned Elliot to the wall by his throat.
“Why do you smell like my mother?” Donovan snapped, his face inches from Elliot’s. Elliot looked petrified, his eyes as huge as saucers. He grabbed at the hand around his throat, his face turning paler with each passing moment.
“Chase, what the hell do you think you’re doing? Let go of my mate,” Tommy shouted. He tried to jump at the man, pull him away from Elliot, but another set of strong arms held him back. Tommy turned, snarling at Donovan. “Let me go, damn it!”
“No!” Donovan shouted right back. “I want to know why your mate smells like my mother.”
Tommy ignored the question and started to struggle against the hold Donovan had on him. He could see the panic in Elliot’s eyes and knew they had just taken a step back in their progress together. He didn’t know what was going on with Chase and Donovan, but he damn well wasn’t about to answer any questions while Donovan had his mate pinned to the wall.
Tommy started growling, snapping at Donovan with his teeth. He felt a smack hit him in the side of the head and shook his head to clear the sudden stars that sparkled in his eyes. He turned to shout at Donovan when a sudden low growl filled the room. It was so ominous that it made the hairs on his arms stand on end.
Tommy turned just in time to see Elliot shift almost instantaneously and pull away from Chase right before he lunged at the man. Chase snarled and jumped back. He started to shift, his transformation slower than Elliot’s. A loud shout from the side of the room stopped him.
Elliot was the only one in the room that didn’t freeze in his spot at Daniel’s loud words. He pulled away from Chase and ran over to snap and growl at Donovan, who quickly let go of Tommy and backed away to stand next to his mate.
Elliot growled low in his throat, standing between Tommy and everyone else in the room. The hairs on his back stood up, his tail bristling. Tommy was pretty sure that his white wolf would attack anyone that came near them.
“Thomas, restrain your mate,” Daniel snapped.
Thomas dropped down to his knees and wrapped his arms around Elliot’s neck. He could feel Elliot’s chest moving with each heavy breath he took in. Elliot was terrified, angered. Tommy pulled back on him.
“Elliot, you have to calm down.” Elliot whimpered, his muscles bunching. “Please, pretty baby, we’ll figure this out, but you have to calm down and shift back.”
Elliot’s shift back to human was just as fast as his shift to wolf form, so fast that even Daniel blinked in surprise. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone shift that fast, Elliot.”
Elliot turned his face away from those in the room and buried it in Tommy’s chest as he pressed himself into Tommy’s arms. Tommy thought he might have been embarrassed with the way he seemed to try and burrow in. He didn’t care why though, as long as Elliot was turning to him for comfort.
“Would you like to tell me why you attacked my mate, Chase?” Tommy said as he looked up to glare at the man.
“I want to know why in the hell your mate smells like my mother,” Chase snapped. Donovan stood behind Chase, nodding his head in agreement.
“What are you talking about? Elliot smells like Elliot.”
“He smells like our mother!” Donovan shouted, taking a step forward. “Our mother has been dead for over twenty years.”
Elliot turned in Tommy’s arms to look over at the two men that had threatened his mate. He felt another snarl building up in his throat at the angered glares sent in his direction. He didn’t know who these men were, but if they stepped toward his mate again, he’d go for their throats. No one threatened his mate.
“Who are you?” Elliot asked, not that he really cared all that much. He could have cared less what they wanted. He just wanted to know who threatened his mate. “By what right do you threaten my mate?”
Elliot was getting really tired of Tommy trying to placate him. It wasn’t like he was the most dangerous person in the world. He couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag. He just refused to let anyone harm his mate.
Elliot turned back and leaned up to nuzzle the underside of Tommy’s chin. “They shouldn’t have attacked you.”
“I know, pretty baby, and we’ll figure out why they did in a moment but first we need to calm this situation down. It’s not going to do anyone any good or get any of our questions answered if everyone is jumping at everyone else.”
“I’m willing to discuss it if they stay away from you.” Tommy’s soft chuckle was a balm to Elliot’s soul. He could listen to the man’s amusement for the rest of his life. It was a beautiful sound.
“I think we all need to take a step back here,” Tommy said as he looked across the room. “This is getting none of us anywhere. We’re never going to have any of our questions answered if we’re at each other’s throats. Agreed?”
Donovan and Chase seemed to grumble a bit, but both men nodded their heads and went to sit down on the couch, Jim standing directly behind Donovan. Tommy looked at his father to see his reaction to everything. He was surprised to find his father looking at Elliot with confusion instead of anger.
Daniel blinked as if just coming back from a deep thought and turned his attention to his son. “Yes, Thomas, everyone needs to calm down so that we can discuss this like reasonable adults.”
“What’s reasonable about them attacking Tommy?”
“Elliot, Donovan didn’t really attack me,” Tommy said. “He was just trying to restrain me.”
“He put his hands on you!” Elliot could feel his anger starting to surface again. He flexed his hands several times, his fingers starting to ache with his need to extend his claws. “No one has the right to put their hands on you except me.”
“You’re right, Elliot,” Daniel said, surprising Elliot. He turned to look at the man, wondering what his game was. “No one has the right to touch your mate except you, and especially not to keep your mate from defending you.”
“And Donovan and I will be discussing that when we’re done here,” Daniel continued as if no sound had come out of Elliot’s mouth. But it had, and everyone heard it, Tommy’s arms tightening around him as the others in the room tensed. “In the meantime, we do need to discuss what happened here.”
“He threatened my mate!” Elliot didn’t understand how everyone else couldn’t see that.
“Elliot, please!” Tommy whispered into his mind.
Elliot turned his face back into Tommy’s neck and drew in a deep breath of the man’s unique fragrance. It was probably the only thing on earth that could calm him down at the moment, and somehow he knew that.
“Elliot,” Daniel began after a moment of thick silence, “what can you tell me about your mother?”
“I told you before, I never really knew my mother. She died when I was a baby.”
“I know that, but is there anything you do remember?”
Elliot frowned and leaned back against Tommy’s chest. “I don’t remember much, and I really have no idea how old I was when she died. My father refuses to discuss her with me.”
“Elliot, you’ve already told us this. We need to know what you haven’t told us. Think hard, son. What did she look like? What did she smell like? Did she sing to you or have a special name for you?”