When Sam offered to perform the truth spell on Gabe he knew he was doing the right thing. Ryan had suffered enough at the hands of their captain and fellow wolves and he was going to fix it.
Sam remembered that night in Ryan's apartment. When he begged Sam to make sure he didn't have any curses on him. He remembered how his friend broke down as Sam confessed to thinking he was a vampire. He had never seen the tall defenseman so upset and he never wanted to see it again.
The night they spent together after Cale and Ryan left the pack house Sam started to form a plan. The spell itself wasn't super complicated but it was hard to reverse. He needed to make sure that he was ready to reverse the spell as soon as they got their answers.
The next day he woke up on the couch, wrapped around Ryan who had Cale on the other side.
He slowly peeled himself away from the couple, trying his best not to jostle them. He rolled out his stiff joints and neck and headed out. Not before he moved Cale and Ryan into a more comfortable position on the couch.
He headed back home. Greeting Tornade by the door and heading to his kitchen for breakfast.
As soon as he entered he froze. At his counter with a bag of bagels already sitting on the table was Erik.
“Um...Hello?” He said slowly.
Erik looked at him for a second, not saying anything, just sipping his coffee slowly.
“Tornade missed you last night,” Erik said, “You didn't tell him you wouldn't be home.”
Sam stifled a groan. He didn't know that after the game he would spend so much time away from his dog. He walked over to where tornade was sitting and pet him on the head. Whispering apologizes in french before turning back to Erik.
Erik looked from Sam to the dog waiting for a response. Tornade barked and Erik laughed.
“He accepts your apology, only if you give him a treat, one of the good bones you keep in the back of the fridge.” Erik narrated Tornades request.
Not wanting to upset his dog or Erik he dug around the fridge for the bone. As he dug around for the treat he addressed Erik.
“So besides talking to my dog, what are you doing here?”
“Can't a buddy visit his other buddy after a rough few days?” Erik said, his voice dripping with false sweetness.
Sam dropped the bone down to Tornade before looking back at Erik, crossing his arms.
“Seems like a “buddy” having a rough day never made you care before” Sam said angrily, putting up air quotes around buddy.
Erik didn't react at the jab, instead focusing back on his mug.
“A little birdie told me that you were trying to meddle in the captain's life.” He said.
“A player or an actual bird?” Sam asked, raising an eyebrow.
Erik shrugged, “Doesn't matter, the point is that you shouldn't get involved in things you don't understand.”
Sam frowned at that. He walked up close to Erik, he grabbed the mug and set it down on the table, making sure that Erik was looking at him.
“I understood just fine when he berated my friend in front of the whole team and made himself the victim instead of apologizing.”
This time Erik had the decency to look guilty, but it was too late.
“Look Sammy,” He tried to reason, “Gabe has his reasons, all we can do now is put it behind us and move on, can you do that?”
Sam glared hard at the man in front of him, “No, I don't think I can.”
Erik went to say something but Sam didn't let him speak.
“You didn't see him, Erik. You didn't see him when I went over to see him. You didn't see the devastation on Ryan's face when I told him he wasn't cursed. You didn't feel his pain when everyone in that room was trying to get him to drink blood. You didn't see him. ” Sam growled.
Erik didn't say anything for a second, instead he looked away again. He sighed before pulling Sam in close by his waist.
“Baby, please, this is so much bigger than you think it is. I don't want you to get hurt.” He whispered into Sam's hair.
Sam let himself melt into the embrace before realizing what Erik was trying to do. He pushed himself out of Eriks arms before wrapping his own around himself.
“Don't do that,” He said, “Don't try to use my magic against me.”
Erik looked sad, “I wasn't trying to do that. I would never.”
Sam just shook his head. He knew Erik was telling the truth. But he couldn't help but hesitate.
A long time ago his family was cursed by a powerful witch. Someone whose magic couldn't be undone by anyone in the small town that they lived in.
The curse goes that once a Girard witch fell in love, that the one they fell in love with would have almost complete control of said witches powers and what they do with them.
He had told Erik about the curse in confidence. Sam had known that he loved the older defenseman since he was nineteen and Erik flashed that dumb toothless smile at him.
Erik had been understanding but ultimately told Sam that they wouldn't work together. That their ages were too far apart and that their powers just weren't compatible. Sam however couldn't shake his feelings. It felt like everyday he was falling even harder for Erik. And while Erik never took advantage of Sam he knew that it was possible.
“I think you should leave.” Sam said, looking directly into Eriks eyes.
Erik nodded, “Okay, but please, stay out of this Sam. It will all work out eventually.”
Sam didn't say anything. He walked back into the living room. Ignoring Erik leaving and just buried his head in Tornades fur.
The spell that Sam would need to use in order to get Gabe to share his secrets was a tough one. It would use up a lot of Sam's powers and he'd have to go without them for a long time.
He figured that it would be worth it though. He was tired of Ryan being the victim and poor Cale had to sit back and watch his mate be pushed aside. Cale couldn't do anything about the whole thing or risk his own spot on the team.
Both he and Ryan understood that Cales spot was the most important. They didn't want him to risk his own future for their benefit.
The spell consisted of three parts. Step one, get the target into a private room where they are comfortable. Step two, if the person performing a spell wants specific information they need an item that is attached to that information. Step three, recite the incantation and merge the item with the target's energy.
There was no real way to practice the spell so Sam would just have to cross his fingers and hope for the best.
He approached Ryan for the second step. He needed something from Ryan's the night of he and Gabe's fight in order for the spell to work.
He explained the spell to both Ryan and Cale the next day. They sat on the couch in Ryan's apartment thinking of what item could be used.
“I’ve got it!” Cale said suddenly. He jumped up and ran into the bedroom. When he emerged he was holding a stained t-shirt in his hands.
“This was what Ryan was wearing that night,” He explained, flipping the shirt around to show some blood that was dotting the shirt, “The blood is Gabes so the connection is there, will it work?”
Sam grabbed the shirt to examine it while Ryan looked back at his mate.
“You kept that?” He asked.
Cale blushed and looked away. “I was going to just throw it out but I kept forgetting to, good thing I didn't.” He laughed awkwardly.
Ryan just chuckled and wrapped his arm around Cale, placing a soft kiss to his forehead.
Sam finished examining the shirt, “This will work.” He said.
He went home later to make the final preparations for the spell. The hardest part would be getting Gabe in a private room that he was familiar with. He figured that he could get Gabe to go to his room in the pack house and he could do the spell there. He'd just have to do an extra lock spell to make sure they wouldn't be interrupted.
“You have everything ready?” Ryan asked.
They were on the phone together. Sam was on his way to the pack house, he had already messaged Gabe earlier so he knew that Sam was coming.
He entered the pack house. It was empty, Sam could tell that Gabe had made everyone leave at his request.
Sam began to set up in Gabe's room. Placing the shirt under the covers so when Gabe sat down he'd be sitting on the shirt, giving the spell more power.
He was just about to text Gabe that he was there when the door opened. He turned around expecting Gabe but instead Erik stood in the doorway.
“I thought I told you to leave this alone.” He said, pushing the door closed behind him.
Sam turned his back to him and began to fiddle with the sheets in front of him.
“I'm just here to talk to him.” Sam said.
“I just don't want you hurt, Sam.” Erik tried to reason with him.
Sam rolled his eyes and ignored him.
Erik reached out to pull Sam close to him, “Sam I’m serious, I know how much energy you'll lose and I know it’ll take you so long to recover.”
Sam refused to meet his eyes, “How do you know about the spell?”
“I talked to Tornade, he'll spill anything if it's about your safety.”
Sam cursed his lovely dog's loyalty in his head. Tornade loved Sam and would never hesitate to make sure Erik knew how to treat Sam right.
“Sam please,” He used his free hand to guide Sam's face up to look at him, “Don't do it.”
Sam shook his head, “I have to, why do you even care?”
Erik sighed. Sam had a point, they had grown apart this season. Ever since Sam confessed his feelings to Erik the older defenceman had been pulling away from him. Saying that it wouldn't work between them, not with their age difference or with Erik having final say with Sam's powers.
“Sam...I was wrong back then,” Erik whispered, “I don't know what I was thinking, I love you so much and the thought of you putting yourself at risk, it's killing me. So please don't do this.”
Sam gasped at the older man's confession. He searched Eriks eyes to see any lies but he couldn't find any. He wrapped his arms around Eriks neck and pulled him down into a soft kiss.
Erik wrapped his arms around Sam's waist and pulled their bodies flush together. Sam could feel his powers flooding into Erik. Merging them together. It was the best feeling in the world Sam determined. He felt warm all over. Lighter than he had ever before.
Erik pulled back and whispered to Sam, “don't do the spell, for me.”
Sam nodded, his mind filled with Eriks words. He couldn't tell if he was agreeing due to his own choice or because of Erik but he didn't care. He finally had his love and he would do anything to keep him.
“I'll send Gabe up.” Erik said before stepping out of the room.
Sam had to rethink his approach now. He could tell that even if he tried the spell it wouldn't work. So instead he settled on the lock spell and maybe he would use a binding spell on Gabe so that once he sat down he wouldn't be able to leave.
When Gabe entered the room the atmosphere immediately changed. The air felt colder around them.
Sam silently did the lock spell and once Gabe sat down he did the binding spell so that he couldn't move his legs.
“I’m here now, what do you want?” Gabe said, his voice held no room for nonsense.
“I want answers, Gabe.”
Gabe looked into the corner of the room. “I don't know what you want me to say here.”
“I want to know why you won't accept Ryan into the pack, even after you knew you were wrong.”
“A wolf like Ryan doesn't belong here Sam.” Gabe scoffed out.
Sam raised an eyebrow at that. “A wolf like Ryan?” he questioned.
“I've known Gravy was a wolf since the day he stepped into our locker room.” Gabe confessed.
“I've known who he is and how his kind acts, that is not what this pack wants or needs.”
“I'm not following,” Sam said, confused, “If youve known Gravy was a wolf this whole time, why force him into isolation?”
Gabe smirked, “He needed to learn how to be a lone wolf. It's bad enough that he's brainwashed Cale, but we don't need to lose any more pack to that...thing.”
Sam was disgusted at Gabes confession but he couldn't back down. He was surprised at how easily Gabe was giving him what he wanted but he assumed Erik had something to do with that.
“Explain.” Sam demanded.
“Did you know that the Graves bloodline comes from a mix of Dire and grey wolves?” Gabe asked.
“The dire wolf bloodline is one of the most frightening, deadly, and ferocious bloodlines there are. They were nearly eradicated centuries ago but some slipped through.”
Sam was confused, “So what does that have to do with Ryan?”
Gabe rolled his eyes, almost if he was annoyed at having to explain himself.
“It means that anything could set Ryan off, anything could trigger the dire wolf in him and he could go on a bloody rampage and never look back,” He explained, “Is that something you want to risk? You want to see your teammates, your familyErik, get hurt badly just because you think that Ryan is just misunderstood.”
Sam froze at that. He knew how bloodlines worked, how some are more connected to their wolves than others. But he just couldn't picture Ryan doing anything that Gabe was describing.
“You're wrong Gabe,” Sam said, trying to keep his voice steady, “I don't know where you got the idea that Ryan is dangerous to you and the pack but it is wrong. Ryan would never injure someone that he cared about.”
Sam took a breath and continued. “All Ryan ever did was try and get your approval. He never wanted to be alone. He just wanted a place where he could be loved and happy. It's your twisted view on him that has caused this whole mess. If you had just talked to him we could've avoided all of this but no. No you did this to yourself, you should be lucky that Ryan even wanted to be here in the first place.”
And with that Sam undid the lock spell and stepped out. Not before turning to Gabe and saying, “The binding spell will wear off by tonight.” and leaving.
As he walked away he could hear Gabe yelling for him but he ignored it.
Downstairs he found Erik waiting by the door, looking at him with sad eyes.
Erik went to say something but Sam waved him off. They grabbed each other's hand and went back to Sam's car before heading back to Ryans.
At Ryans he gathered him and Cale onto the couch. He explained everything he could about what Gabe had said. The whole time he felt sick to his stomach. The fact that Gabe was willingly putting a fellow teammate and wolf through that was disgusting.
Ryan sat there stone faced the whole time. The only reaction he gave was when Sam told them what Gabe said about Cale.
Ryan had reached out and pulled the younger man close to him. Wrapping an arm around his waist and rubbing his thumb up and down Cales arm.
At the end of Sam's explanation Ryan got up and walked towards the window at the back of the apartment.
“Thank you for doing this.” Cale said, his voice sad.
Sam nodded but didn't respond. Instead his eye were on Ryan who was fiddling with his phone in front of him.
“I always knew what my bloodline was, me and my wolf have one of the strongest connections my family has ever seen.” Ryan said softly.
Cale got up and walked over to his mate, hugging him softly.
“You would never hurt me or anyone one on this team, I know that.” Cale said.
“Gabe is wrong, what he is doing to you is not right.” Sam added.
Erik nodded but didn't say anything. Gabe had explained to him his worries about Ryan but didn't think it would escalate to this.
“What do we do now?” Sam asked, looking at the couple in front of him.
Ryan sighed and brought Cale back to the couch.
He looked at Sam and Cale before speaking.
“I'm tired of fighting,” He said, “All I wanted was to belong and now not only do I not fit in here, but now you two are being cast aside as well.”
Cale went to protest but Ryan cut him off. “Cale, when was the last time you were invited to go on a run or to pack night at the house?” He questioned.
Cale stayed silent, the last time he stepped foot in the pack house was directly after Ryan's fight with Gabe over being allowed to join the pack.
“I'm just tired of all of this.”
“I know I haven't told you anything,” Ryan said, looking at his mate with sad eyes, “But I'm flying out to New Jersey at the end of the week.”
The room was silent. They let Ryans words wash over them. Cale tried to find the joke in Gravys words but came up with nothing. Tears suddenly started to fill his eyes.
Cale shook his head. “You can't mean that, Ryan, please.” He pleaded.
“I'm sorry baby, but it'll be for the best.” Ryan said, pulling his crying mate into a hug.
“It's the best for both of you,” Ryan explained, “You both can mend your relationship with the team, Cale you need a pack and I won't let myself take that from you.”
Sam shook his head in denial, “I don't want to “mend” my relationship with Gabe, he's a monster for what he did to you.”
“What he did was bad, but there is no changing his mind about me.”
The trio of them stayed there on the couch embracing each other for hours. It wasn't until Erik got up to pull the three of them into Ryan's room.
They stumbled on to the bed not a single one of them letting go of each other.
Erik lent down and pressed a kiss into Sam's hair before leaving. He left the apartment overcome with guilt. Not only did he witness such a private and heartbreaking moment but he knew deep down that he should have talked some sense into Gabe.
The captain didn't know the damage he had caused. Not only to Ryan but to the team. Sam and Cale were keystones in the team and if they couldn't trust the captain then it was going to go downhill very quickly.
A few days later saw Ryan stepping off the plane in his new home. He had done all his interviews and media appearances and was ready to meet his new team.
This time he hoped that everyone's supernatural sides were more closed off but from what he saw of Jack Hughes he knew that wasn't the case.
The young incubus never hid his side and was proud of it. Along with Nico the new captain and his own vampire-isms.
He grabbed his luggage and went to the car line when he saw two figures holding up signs with his name on them.
He laughed when he saw Nico and PK there as his welcome committee. He shook Nicos hand.
“Welcome to New Jersey!” Nico said with a wide smile, his fangs dropping down slightly.
“Happy to be here.” Ryan said, it was true. He was happy but he did miss Cale and Sam, the only real friends he had on the Avs.
He turned to PK and greeted him as well.
PK flashed a wide smile at him and said, “Welcome to the pack Ryan Graves.