“If the Anuk-ite can do this to me, what do you think it's doing to everyone else?”
That unanswered question hung in the air, coated in silence. Sighing, Liam closed his eyes in hope of calming his racing heartbeat. This great pounding, this great pressure; every beat. It was almost suffocating. Beacon Hills was like a safe haven when they first moved, an escape from the horrors they’d faced in the previous town. Liam was so overwhelmingly happy to have a fresh start with no more mistakes. That definitely didn’t last long. Breathing deeply he reopened his eyes to finally take in the world around him.
“Where are we going?” Liam wondered aloud.
“I’m taking you home.” Theo responded like it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Scott called, they all know we’re still in town. They wouldn’t try anything after everything that’s gone down tonight so that means you can be reunited with your bed. Congrats.”
Rolling his eyes, Liam smirked as he reminisced their past conversation. He loves his pillow and in the rush of things forgot to grab it before they ‘left’. It might’ve been one night but he was tossing and turning throughout it all. Theo, being the unfortunate one to sleep next to him, experienced it in full. Liam involuntarily got that lost sleep back during the five times Theo knocked him out but the thought of having his pillow back filled his tense body with relief.
“What’re Scott and that lot doing now then?” Turning his head, Theo gave Liam a once over. As if debating on what to tell him. Frowning, Liam pressed on. “Theo.”
“They’re having a ‘pack meeting’ and before you say anything I know you think you should be there but you need to sleep.” Pause. “You’re more annoying when you’re tired.”
Huffing, Liam sank into his seat, mumbling incoherent argument causing Theo to smirk.
“So, what are you doin’?” Liam sighed
“After you drop me off, where do you even go?” Realising that he barely knows anything about Theo.
“I go home. I sleep.”
“Where is home?”
“What’s this twenty questions? It’s a crappy apartment a few blocks away.”
Frowning, Liam turned his head to stare out of the window, his head filled with conflicting thoughts. Theo glanced at him from the corner of his eye, not knowing what was going through the younger wolf’s mind made him feel oddly uncomfortable.
“Somehow you don’t even have to open your mouth to make my head hurt.” Theo scoffed. “What’s going through that tiny mind of yours?”
“Nothing.” Liam murmured, but he immediately perked up when they turned the corner to his street and promptly parked outside his house. His happiness suddenly turned to worry. “You’re good at chemosignals aren’t you? Are you getting that?”
Frowning, Theo concentrated. “They’re scared.” He concluded, frowning. Glancing at Theo, Liam quickly ran out of the car and went to run into his house but the door was locked. Banging on the door, he shouted for his parent’s attention. He could hear their heartbeats, felt it rise as he banged on the door. If he didn’t know any better he’d think they were afraid of him.
“Mom!” He screamed, “are you guys okay? Let me in!” He felt Theo’s presence behind him but in that moment all he was thinking of is the best way to kick the door down. Just as he was about to, the door swung open revealing Mr. Geyer. Sighing in relief at his safe figure Liam smiled nervously at his stepfather. Yet, he was still scared. Mr. Geyer glanced behind him before closing the door once more. Leaving the three outside.
This kind of thick silence sent a chill down Liam’s spine, especially on this inky night devoid of even moonlight or stars. There was no light, just darkness threatening to consume him. Alone.
“You need to go.” He finally spoke, with an unceasing calmness to his voice.
Liam frowned in confusion, opening his mouth several times to speak but never found the right words. He eventually let out a pitiful, “What?”
Mr. Geyer kept his composure although Liam could hear his heart rate speed up, see the sweat on his forehead, feel the fear radiating off of him.
“We know. What you are. And we can’t-“ eventually he faltered, his voice breaking as he looked away from the younger boy he once called his son. “We don’t feel safe with someone like you in our home. Please go.”
This was it. This is the one fear he hasn’t had to face yet but here it is. This was really happening. The tears brewed in his eyes showing his humanity to the person determined to see nothing human in him. He was too sad to cry out or wail, so he just stood there as still as a statue while the magnitude of what he just said swept over him.
“Dad-“ he broke, stepping closer to him but immediately froze once the other took a few steps back.
“Don’t call me that. You’re not my son. Not anymore.” Shaking his head, he took more steps back until he was inside the place Liam once called home. Glancing over to the window, Liam could see his mom peering though the curtains as she sobbed heavily. At the eye contact they shared, she quickly retreated. He heard the door lock as it echoed into the silence he was left in.
He just stood there, frozen with shock or utter sadness he didn’t know but he just... stood there. Silent and alone. Feeling a new kind of coldness he’d never felt before. Until he was reminded that he wasn’t alone. A hand on his shoulder made him remember the chimaera who had witnessed all of that. Liam turned around and gave Theo a smile, trying to mask his pain. But of course, Theo saw right through it. He knew. Doing the one thing Liam least expected him to do.
He pulled Liam closer to him, wrapping his arms around the smaller wolf. His embrace was warm, and his big, strong arms seemed very protective when wrapped around his body. Liam just kind of fell into it, putting all of his weight into his arms. Theo took it, he held him tight and Liam sobbed. He sobbed into him, clutching at his shirt.
The one thing he’d always had is his parents not knowing what he was. Not seeing the monster inside. Now it was out there and they saw it, giving the worst reaction he could have ever predicted. They didn’t see Liam anymore, they just saw the monster.
After a few moments, when Liam’s cries seemed to die down, Theo released him from the hug yet kept his hand on his shoulder. Guiding him towards his truck. Liam let him, concentrating on the warmth Theo’s hand seemed to give him.
Once they were inside, Theo sped off quickly, leaving the house in the dust behind them. Liam rose his hands to wipe the tears off of his face, sniffing to try and erase his previous breakdown. No matter how much he composed his outer shell, inside he felt crushed. He could feel a heaviness in his heart that he’s experienced way too many times at his young age. It was one too many and he was tired of it. This was it. This was the final straw.
“You wanna talk about it?” Theo’s voice broke his thought train of thought, reminding him where he was. Where he was made him angry. He wasn’t home, home doesn’t want him.
“About my parents basically disowning me? How they’re afraid of me? How throughout my life they’ve been the only people who never saw me as a monster and now they do? Yeah let’s talk about it, we can braid each other’s hair and have a gossip session.” Liam spat out, his heart pounding. Theo turned and looked at Liam, he understood like always. One emotion at a time.
“You know my hair is too short to have proper braids, yours however is just long enough if you wanna go there.”
“I hate you.”
“Well that puts a downer on our relationship.”
Liam sighed, pulling his feet up onto his seat as he curled up tight. Hugging himself and resting his head against the window.
“What do you need?” Theo asked, once again the silence was broken. Liam laughed at that, his eyes filling with tears.
“My mom?” He croaked, laughing once more. His head filled with a million memories. When he first went to school, his mom taking a picture of his first day as her proud eyes cried. When he first lost a tooth, his mom hugging him and making him laugh. When his dad was arrested, his mom’s soothing voice stroking his hair as he sobbed. When he was first diagnosed with I.E.D, his mom comforting him and making it clear that he was still her son. That she still loved him and they’d get through this, together. When he saw her in the window, she couldn’t even face him. She left. She walked away. He isn’t her son anymore.
“I’m sorry.” He replied, genuinely. “You don’t deserve that.”
As they continued driving Liam had one reply he could say. One he daren’t speak out loud.
I do deserve it.
“Want me to drop you off at Scott’s?”
“No. Scott would just give me that look like I’m a wounded puppy and will somehow have been through this before but ‘it’ll all be okay’ cos it was for him. I just, I can’t deal with that right now.”
Again, he shook his head. “He wouldn’t understand.” Sighing, Liam knew what he wanted to ask but didn’t know how to approach it. “Do you think, I could maybe stay at yours? Just for tonight, I promise. I just can’t deal with anyone else right now and-“
“Liam.” Theo interrupted, smirking slightly at his rambling. “I’m sure you’d be a great roommate but there’s no place for you to roommate in.”
“What? What do you mean?”
Huffing, Theo shrugged slightly whilst turning a corner. “I sleep here. This truck is my home. Coming back from hell doesn’t give you any cash or friends so this is it.”
There was silence for a while, Liam searching for something to say.
“I would’ve said you could crash at mine but I think that offers gone.” He chuckled as he tried to make light of the situation.
“Look, if you want you can sleep here. I’ll drive around for a bit. One night, that’s it.”
Liam smiled with gratitude, climbing into the back he tried to settle and get comfortable. He saw a blanket under the seat and quickly grabbed it, inhaling Theo’s scent was like a calm wave had rushed over him. He was too tired to question it, but maybe this blanket could replace his pillow. Maybe.
As he drifted off, he felt safe. Safe in the knowledge that even if he lost Hayden, Brett, Lori and his parents. Even if he had to lose more people in the future, Theo would always be there. Maybe he was fooling himself and maybe as soon as the hunters were gone he’d leave too, but it was a nice thought and he needed something nice at that moment. Listening to the faint buzz of the engine, sleep approached his mind and he happily surrendered to it.