[Crossposted to bq_karl and dekker_bq]
Locking the alleyway door behind him, Karl sauntered into the bar, automatically counting the last few of the customers there. About to prop his ass on a stool, he waved at a few and grabbed a handful of peanut mix. Halfway to his mouth he paused at the new scent. Definitely were - but a young one. Scanning again he spotted the movement.
“Coming through,” Thomas said as he brushed past with a tray of empty glasses. He paused and looked at the sexy guy about to sit at the bar. He smiled and actually fluttered his long lashes before disappearing into the kitchen.
Grinning, Karl watched the pup disappear, smiling at his bravado. Chewing on the salty snack, he followed, eyes finding the new one right away. “Another of Hoot’s strays?” He was deliberate in his perusal of the younger man’s body, eyes skimming from head to toe and stopping at some strategic points in between.
“Another?” Thomas asked. “Does that mean you were a stray?” He smiled and stacked the glasses in the dishwasher. “I’m Thomas by the way.”
Moving closer, Karl nodded, “In a way... I’m beta to Hoot... but still kind of a stray since I was kicked out of my former pack.” Hand extended, “I’m Karl.”
“Nice to meet you Karl,” Thomas said a little quietly. “I’ve been part of a pack, but understand a little about the hierarchy. Is Hoot an um, alpha? Or does that make him prince?”
“He’s alpha... Liam is prince.” The kid seemed nervous to Karl, not of him, but... maybe not even nervous, but cautious, yeah, that’s what it was. “Both good men, both care very much about the weres in the area - pack or not.”
“Can I ask you a question Karl?” Thomas said with a slight frown.
Arms out to his sides, Karl nodded, “Open book kid... ask away.”
“Being a wolf was, well, an embarrassment in my home town. My parents basically locked me away and told me I was a throwback to a dark past,” Thomas explained and sat on the edge of a bench. “I never believed I was something wrong and played up, but here it seems different. Is it really okay to be a wolf here?”
“Oh little one, here, more than anywhere else I know of, is the perfect place to be yourself. We still need to be careful of the local humans, but there is an understanding between the authorities and our leaders.” Stepping closer, he gently patted the young man’s cheek. “As for the acting up, it’s our nature, we are wild and free. Here, it is accepted.”
Thomas reached up and covered Karl’s hand. It felt good to be touched that way. He held it for a moment then let go. “Thanks, it’s been tough figuring out what’s wolf and what’s me. Or if there’s a difference at all.”
With his hand still holding Thomas’ cheek, Karl smiled his understanding. “Your personalities will separate as you mature more, as you begin to understand each other. I can help if you need.”
Thomas looked up through his full lashes and smiled. “I’d like that. Very much.”
Tipping his head to the side, Karl gave a lopsided grin, “Are you flirting with me?” Leaning closer and ignoring the knowing looks from the cook, he smiled, “Cuz, I like it.”
Taking the opportunity Thomas reached up and gave Karl a light kiss. He wasn’t much shorter than the other were, but his slight frame made him seem small.
Blinking, Karl began to smile as he took in the features of the boy... “Holy hell - you legal?” Nodding as if to make the man nod as well, his eyes pleaded, “I don’t do... I mean... you have to be legal. Yeah, Hoot wouldn’t hire you otherwise.” Shaking his head at his own stupidity, he leaned forward to sample the lips again. “What time you get off?”
“Very legal,” Thomas said softly against Karl’s lips. “I just look young for my age, but we can talk about that more when I’ve finished clearing up. If you can wait 30 minutes we can both get off.”
A flash of white teeth as his grin bloomed, Karl eagerly nodded. “I’ll uh... make sure I have clean sheets... or any sheets... do you know where I sleep?” It would be more private than any other place in the bar.
Thomas shook his head. “You sleep here? In the bar?”
“Yep, used to be a good sized storage room, but Hoot converted it for me. It’s small enough to be cozy and large enough that I don’t hit the walls when I uh, roll around.” Peering out the small window of the swinging door of the kitchen, he shook his head, “You can’t see it from here, but it has decent privacy when needed.”
“Do you need privacy often?” Thomas teased starting to understand the strange were smells on Karl.
“Often... but select.” Shoving the tray of dishes through the sanitizer, Karl stepped back, wiping his hands. “I always keep in mind that while this is in a way my home, it is still Hoot’s place - that and he lives upstairs so I wouldn’t ever think of having someone here who might be a danger to him - my primary duty is to protect the Alpha.”
“This pack stuff is pretty important right?” Thomas asked while he stacked another tray of glasses. “I’ve never run with one before and never met a prince or anything.”
“To some it is... some not.” Wiping the metal catch tray, Karl thought about it for a moment. “I was raised in pack, surrounded continuously by others like me... it made me feel normal - understand what I mean?”
“Normal?” Thomas shrugged and shook his head. “I was told there was something wrong with me and had to figure this all out myself. Never had a pack, but I think I’d like it, you know, having people who gave a shit about what I am.”
“I think if you give him half a chance, Hoot will smother you with caring. He does you know, care about all of us?” Pulling the sanitized rack from the machine, Karl pushed the next one in. “I take care of Hoot... and you if you’d like.” Adding a wink, Karl left the invitation open to whatever the young pup wanted.
Thomas’s smile said it all. He’d like that very much.
- Karl Urban and Thomas Dekker ~ New job, new bed