A/N: I know what some of you may be thinking, what is she doing writing another story when she has three already? Well in my defense, I couldn't help myself. So with that having been said, please enjoy and please note that this story was co-written with Tattooed Soul. Thanks, dear!
Warnings: Violence, language, adult situations, and m/m slash.
Please note: When Pierre speaks, he often says phrases in the sentence in French accidentally and he has an accent. This is limited, but I just wanted to clarify in case there is confusion.
When Sun and Moon Meet
The first shot echoed out of the AWM with a crack so powerful that it nearly made Pierre's ears bleed. However, he ignored the dreadful ringing in his ears and continued to stare stubbornly through his scope, teeth grinding across the yellow toothpick in his mouth in determination. His blue-gray orbs could almost follow the exact path that the silver bullet took as it streamed through the line of trees before decimating its target. The werewolf's head was torn clean off.
"C'est bon! C'est merveilleux, Pierre! Tu es magnifique!"
Pierre managed a wry grin behind the scope, although internally he had never felt sicker to his stomach. His hands were clammy and slick with sweat as his finger shook against the trigger. This was his first hunt, his first kill. He supposed he had expected it to be different; more exciting but shooting down the werewolf had given him no pleasure. But he couldn't deny the warmth in his stomach as he glanced up at his older brother, blue-gray orbs just as his own, shining with pride.
Jean-Marie smiled down at him before his strong hand fell upon Pierre's shoulder. "Merveilleux mon petit frère, merveilleux."
A strangled howl of rage and loss echoed through the forest, setting both brother's on guard. Without even a moment to prepare, the rest of the pack began to filter out of the trees, fur bristling in rage. They were just as Pierre's father had told him, crazed beasts. Frothing saliva dripped from their fangs, their coats matted and covered in the filth of the forest. The beasts roared, charging up the mountain to avenge their fallen queen, which was just what the hunters wanted.
"Look at them," Jean-Marie scoffed as he switched to speaking English. "They lose one Alpha and they are utterly mindless. Like sheep to the slaughter." He gave two short pats to Pierre's shoulder to ease him from his anxiety. "Keep firing, I know that you will make me proud. The others and I shall go and meet the beasts." His eyes shone in the darkness. It was the glint in the eye of the hunter just before he killed, it was his strength and hatred reflected for all of his enemies to see.
Pierre glanced up at his brother before nodding gently, eye once again focused on the threat behind his scope. "Oui." He paused for a moment before he stiffened. "Be careful."
Jean-Marie threw his head back and laughed in response before he jumped from the mound, a whip of long, coal black hair flashing behind him as he went. Pierre nearly jumped out of his skin as a sudden kiss was placed upon his forehead before he heard a joyful laugh and witnessed his sister pull her silver mask back across her face before she waved him goodbye, husband and the rest of the group in toe. Pierre sneered before he pulled the trigger a second time. Bitch.
Before the night was over, Pierre had killed over five werewolves with his sniper file, although not once did he actually physically engage with the werewolves to show off his skills with his whip. Every time a wolf seemed to get too close for comfort, another of the group seemed to appear and save him. Once it was his sister's husband, Calvin, the American who had swung down from the trees with his silver axe, successfully cutting off the wolf's legs before it could reach Pierre. Another time, it was Henri with his bow, shooting the wolf in its chest just as it had made its way up to the mountainside.
The actions from his team both eased Pierre's mind and pissed him off. He was sixteen years old, more than capable of taking care of himself and he had been trained since the age of four. Calvin had only started hunting five years ago and had just began to fight accurately. Before he had taken too many risks, been too cocky as it seemed all Americans were, and his foolishness was now on display for all to see. The man had timed his thrust incorrectly in trying to behead an Alpha wolf and as a result, he was bitten in the hand. If it wasn't for Jean-Marie's quick reflexes, the man would have become a monster. His brother had to cut off the American's arm moments before the wolf's fangs sunk into his flesh. Now his silver arm's brilliant shine in moonlight was a lesson to all of them to never underestimate their enemy.
The rest of the hunters gave him hearty pats on the back as he passed by them. Pierre was the smallest of all of them, lithe and slender rather than covered in a heavy bulk of muscle and so many were impressed by the fact that he hadn't died. In fact, he knew that many of the men had taken up some sort of bet on whether or not he would survive or piss his pants. The sixteen year old took a deep satisfaction in the fact that he had done neither.
While the cleaning group came around the burn the bodies, he had been instructed to pick up the any silver casings left behind. Although the world should have been eternally grateful to all werewolf hunters, they had to remain unknown to those outside of their ranks. The world was not yet ready to face the fact that the very beasts they mocked in their horror films were actually real and far more ghastly than any screen could ever picture them as.
Sighing, Pierre ran a hand through his messy ebony locks, still chewing on his toothpick. In his other hand, the rifle sat silently, only at his side as a precautionary method. His family's group of werewolf hunters were second best in the world and they never failed to kill all of their targets. Some days they would split into groups for weeks, just to make sure that every single wretched monster was cut down, whether they had transformed into their human skin or not.
The smell of death hung in the air heavily, but it was a scent that he had become accustomed to. Muttering obscenities underneath his breathe at having to find all of the shell casings; Pierre looked up at the heavens for an answer to why he had to be the one to do this but was suddenly awestruck by the beauty of the full moon.
He had never truly been able to stare up at the moon like this, not when it was full. Nights like these always seemed to hold the promise of death and of war, but now everything was silent and still. The white orb in the sky glowed luminously, casting its silver glow across everything it touched. It was beautiful, nigh ethereal in the heavens. Surrounding the moon were the stars, hundreds and thousands of beautiful stars, twinkling in the night sky, adorning the expanse. One star shot across the sky, leaving behind a white trail in its wake and if Pierre was anyone else, he might have wished upon it. But he knew that wishes were for children and he was not a child any longer and more than that, he knew that wishes did not come true.
A low growl in the forest made him jump. Tearing his eyes away from the sky, he held his rifle protectively in front of him. His heart was pounding in his chest, sweat beginning to accumulate across his brow and his hands, making the gun slippery. So slippery in fact, that he dropped the rifle and the metal smacked against the hard ground, clacking loudly.
Quickly, Pierre bent down to retrieve his weapon just as a wolf appeared. Instantly, he regretted having ever been angry at his family for keeping him from coming face to face with the monsters that haunted him in his sleep. He was terrified as bright amber orbs stared at him. Hands shaking, he managed to get a grip on his rifle and in response, the wolf snarled in warning, taking an advancing step forward.
Ignoring the threat, he placed the rifle in its position, his eye staring at the beast through his scope. He was shaking and as a result his vision was blurred and as he took a shot, it only penetrated the trunk of a tree rather than his target.
The wolf flinched before backing away slightly, fangs barred. After a moment, Pierre lowered his weapon slightly. Why wasn't it attacking him? Wasn't that what wolves did? They killed and maimed humans; they slaughtered them without a thought. So then why wasn't the wolf attacking him?
Heart pounding, he lowered the weapon further and the wolf backed away just a pace more and Pierre's eyes widened at the sight. Behind the wolf, was a wolf cub, shaking and shivering with its ears lying flat, its eyes reflecting the purest horror he had ever seen as it glanced at his weapon. Just behind the pup was the Alpha female he had killed, now in her human form, a gaping hole where her head once was and her naked body splayed out for all to see as it lied in a pool of crimson. She must have been these two's mother; for in analyzing the wolf, he could see that it was still an adolescent. The most beautiful adolescent Pierre had ever seen. The male wolf's coat was the color of the purest gold as he stood in front of the shivering pup bravely.
The hunter felt sick to his stomach. He had killed a mother, just as the wolves had killed his mother when he was young. In the golden wolf's eyes, he could see himself reflected so long ago, as he stared out at the enemy who had ruined his life. Neither of the wolves held that madness in their eyes that he had seen before, they looked too…human.
He dropped his rifle to the forest floor, tears prickling at his eyes. What had he done? "Mon Dieu... Je suis désolé. Je suis désolé, " he whispered brokenly. For the first time in over six years, he wept. Fat, salty tears streamed down his gaunt cheeks as he shook his head desperately. He was a monster.
"Pierre!" It was Amelie. She was calling to him and if he didn't return, she would come to him and she would kill the two wolves.
He couldn't allow it to happen, quickly wiping away his tears, he picked up his weapon again aimed it at the two wolves. The golden wolf's muzzle wrinkled in a snarl, its amber eyes looking at him in…betrayal? Shaking his head, Pierre tried to reason with the creature. "Non loup." He threw his neck in the direction of the deeper portions of the forest. "Allez! Allez!" The wolf stared at him stupidly and he smacked his forehead in irritation. Of course, they were hunting in America meaning that it probably didn't understand French. "Run! Go! Leave, hurry! Run!"
The wolf's eyes widened a fraction before it grasped the pup around the scuff of its neck and turned. Before it left however, it turned towards Pierre and gave him a look filled with gratitude and then it was just a golden streak, running through the forest and towards its freedom.
Amelie appeared but a moment later, her silver mask glittering in the moonlight. "D'accord?"
Pierre took a deep breathe before he spoke. "D'accord."
"You want to stay here?" Calvin blinked at him from the stove, the bulky man looking absolutely ridiculous with a pink apron around his waist. "But why? Now that the American population of werewolves is controlled, I thought you would go back with Jean-Marie and the others to France. I mean, Amelie would probably drag me there too if it wasn't for the baby."
It had been two years since Pierre's first kill and he still could not forget the golden wolf. He took no satisfaction in his kills. He began to feel more and more shame at his monstrous ways. The eighteen year old could no longer stomach the trade that he had been bred into.
He looked away from Calvin's gaze and drew into the table with his fingers. This time, he drew a spiral, thinking over his answer. Pierre was not stupid and he knew that none of his family would understand him if he told them his true reasoning for wanting to put down his rifle. They may have been close, but their duty as hunters came before all blood ties. "I just want to go to school. I never been to school mais, I vas looking at ze scores to get into university pour America et I can go with my home schooling. Ze exams pour American schools are easy." He waved at the imaginary test with a sneer. "Multiple choice? It is like taking candy from a child."
Calvin turned away from him with a snort, hiding his amused grin behind his hand. Pierre knew that he found his accent to be hilarious, but he had just begun learning to actually speak English fluently a few years ago. Besides, it wasn't as if the man could talk. His French was atrocious; the only reason why they spoke English around him was to spare themselves from having to hear the man butcher their home language. "Well, there is a pretty nice university not too far from here. I think it's called Kellingwood University. It's one of those fancy liberal arts schools. You like that kind of shit don't you?" He cursed under his breathe as he destroyed the egg before he could flip it around.
"It is called Killingwood University?" Pierre's nose wrinkled in distaste. How typical of Americans to name their school after some terrible sex joke.
"No, no," Calvin argued turning towards the eighteen year old with an exasperated look on his face. "Kellingwood. Kell not kill." He used his silver arm to scratch at the top of his brown air, cursing when the sharp fingers cut into his head.
Amelie rounded the corner and boxed her husband over the head. "I keep telling you not to scratch with that hand. When will you learn?" The extremely pregnant woman took a seat at the table, pushing the brown wooden chair back to keep it from crushing against her belly. Her hair was a series of black plaited braids that trickled down her back and skimmed over her waist. With a cherubic face, she seemed too angelic and soft to be a killer but before her pregnancy, Amelie was just as dangerous as any other hunter. Smiling warmly at her brother, her brown orbs twinkled in her skull. "What were you two talking about?'
Holding a napkin up to his bleeding head, Calvin snorted. "Your little brother wants to go to school with us "stupid Americans" rather than go back with your brother and the others."
Death glaring at his brother-in-law, Pierre tried to explain himself. "I vant to go to university. I vant to take the photos. Please Amelie, talk to Jean-Marie pour moi. He would be angry if I asked." He looked at her pleadingly, watching as her brow furrowed, the only signs of aging that she possessed.
After a short time she gave a laugh, rising from her chair and moving towards the refrigerator to pull out a container of strawberry ice cream. Plopping down in her chair, she picked up a spoon and dove in, smacking her lips as she went. Licking the spoon clean, she dealt her brother a look which clearly spoke to him that she was not amused. "Oh sure, use the pregnant woman to talk to easily enraged egomaniac. He can't stab her in a rage. You little shit."
Pierre grinned. That was a yes if he had ever heard one.
Pierre winced as his slender fingers began to untie the tight black ribbon across the letter. It was a letter from Jean-Marie and he knew that his older brother would not be pleased with his choice to attend an American university and give up the life of a hunter. He could only pray that the package attached to the letter was not some sort of bomb to punish him for his decision.
Breathing heavily, he unfolded the papers and began to read, blue-gray orbs scanning the pages.
Mon petit frère,
I have decided to write to you in English, being as you will no longer read, write, or speak our language very often. Although Amelie spoke to me; and mind you that I am quite perturbed that you would believe so strongly that I would attack you that you sent our pregnant sister to speak to me instead of coming yourself, I still cannot understand your reasoning.
We have been hunters for over ten generations and you are the last of our father's sons. How can you turn your back on what you are? Hunting is in your blood. You cannot run from it. The beasts will be at your door, no matter where you are. There is safety in numbers, why would you stray from your family? We love you. Though the words may not be shared between us often, there is a great love between us. Did you leave because the others tended to tease you? We don't care that you are small, we know you are strong. I have always had great faith in your abilities and it hurts my heart to see you throw them away like so. It would hurt father's heart to see you do this as well, but I will respect your decision. You are an adult now and I can no longer lead you by the hand and tell you where to go. Be your own man but never forget who you truly are.
I hope that one day you might change your mind and become one of us again, for your place beside me is always open and no one can ever hope to replace it. I believe that one day you will realize that what you are doing is simply a phase and take back up your weapon. That is why I have sent you a package, it's your chain and rifle, some ammunition and of course a few handguns, just in case. At least carry the chain and handgun with you at all times. The wolves can hide in their human flesh and never be so foolish as to believe you are safe from them, they are everywhere.
I hope you enjoy your American schooling. (Tell me why you chose to go to an American school again?) I had no idea you had any interest in photography, but I'm sure you will do well. You have Arceneaux blood in your veins and as such, you will prove victorious in all that you do.
Write to me occasionally, though it may take me some time to answer you. We will be in Germany for a while since it would appear that a werewolf has somehow managed to get into the country's political affairs, who would have thought that such a creature would be able to accomplish something like that?
With love from your brother,
Relief flooded over Pierre and he touched his chest, sighing deeply. His brother was not angry at him after all. He had nearly expected a series of men dressed in all black with shining silver masks to hijack the train he was on and kidnap him back to France. However, he could see that his brother was attempting to make him feel as guilty as humanly possible. It wouldn't work though; the young ex-hunter knew that he would never be able to pick up his weapon again now that he was free from that life. At night he was still often plagued by the face of the golden wolf, its amber orbs reflecting the deepest gratitude and the humanity that lingered in those depths. How many wolves had he killed that were just like him? How many mothers had he stolen from children?
The train pulled to a stop and Pierre's lithe body lurched forward in his seat. Mumbling curses, he pulled his luggage out from underneath his seat and slung the brown leather duffel over his shoulder. He didn't have many clothes or personal items since his family tended to travel so often and thus the move from Amelie's home to the university was simple and easy for him to manage.
He sneered as a portly man stumbled next to him, throwing out an arm to steady himself and revealing a horrendous pit stain, the stench crawling up his nose and nearly making him gag. Didn't Americans bathe? Ignoring the smell from the man, the teen filed up the line with the rest of the train's occupants, eyes trained on the long package in his hand. He wished he could have left his weapons behind but he understand that such actions would be foolish. For all he knew, the man with the pit stains could be one of those that he had once killed.
Subconsciously, his grip tightened on the package he held. If he were to be found out for what he really was, he couldn't even imagine the danger that he would be in.
Werewolves searched for hunters relentlessly and a few of them had amassed fortunes. If hunters were found out, they could be put up for large bounties. Pathetic how the prospect of money could make decent people turn in the very people who had been protecting them and dying for them for ages. That is to say if the hunters were even right in their assumptions about werewolves in the beginning…
"Hey kid, move!" Pierre was roughly shoved off the train and fell forward, his knee painfully connecting with the sidewalk before he placed his hands onto the ground to keep from hitting his face. His package was strewn across the floor of the train station and his duffel had twisted around his wrist when he fell.
He turned around, eyes flashing dangerously underneath his ebony locks. It was the man with the pit stain who had tripped him and now the bastard was standing over him with a smirk on his stubble ridden face. "Bâtard." The man opened his mouth to likely shoot some sort of insult at him, but he never got the chance. With quick reflexes, Pierre threw out his leg, successfully knocking the man's legs out from underneath him. "You zink you are funny huh? Not very much so." Wiping his hands on his pants, Pierre held his head high, scoffing at the groaning man on the ground before turning away from him in dismissal before he picked up his package.
As he made his way out of the train station, he bit the inside of his lip. Perhaps this wasn't such a good idea after all.
Gray-blue eyes surveyed Kellingwood University with mild curiosity. It was a very small school, only about three thousand students overall and over half of the students participated in the art program that he would be entering into. The buildings were old, made from brick and they held an air of importance underneath the streaming ivy that covered over their windows and doors.
He was unsure where to go now, as the map he held in his hand was crude. His hands were full with his weapons hidden in the gift box as well as his papers, not to mention the fact that his duffel had stubbornly slipped to the crook of his arm and was impairing his ability to carry items.
As if nature was somehow against him, the wind blew strongly, knocking his papers straight from his hands. "Merde! Merde! Merde!" Ignoring the fact that there could be possible onlookers, he leaped in the air in an attempt to catch the wayward paper but they danced away from him in the wind. Snarling, he fell to his knees, crawling in the grass at his papers.
He managed to grab hold of his room number and identification but the map and the rest of his papers had blown away. "Here, let me help you," a calm, deep voice said somewhere above him.
Pierre blinked before he spun around to observe the stranger. He had approached him too quietly, why hadn't he heard him? Narrowing his eyes, he took in the sharp features of the other boy as he ran after his papers. He was undeniably tan, as if he spent all of his time in the sun, with a shock of golden blonde hair on his head, styled in a sort of fowhawk, which tilted across his head and covered one of his eyes. He was surprisingly fast being that he had a muscular body structure; in fact he had the body of a man although he was a boy. He was nearly as large as his brother or Calvin actually.
In seemingly a blink of an eye, the boy had captured all of his papers and bent down towards him, falling to his knees and stacking them neatly. "Here you go…" Their eyes met, suspicious blue-gray eyes meeting warm brown orbs. The blonde's mouth had fallen open; he was gaping at Pierre as if he had two heads and a tail. Their hands touched as the boy kept staring, before Pierre viciously snatched his papers away.
"Why do you not just take a picture? Zey will last longer," the French teen said rudely before he turned his nose to the person who had helped him and stomped away towards this school.
In his wake, the boy watched after him, eyes hidden behind his fall of blonde hair.
The Frenchman was lying on his small twin sized bed, absently reading a book, a fairy tale or some such about a girl who ended up in a castle with a beast. He wondered if the man was a werewolf and the author just wasn't being forthright. The mere thought of werewolves ruined the story for him and he threw it across his bed.
The door to his room opened and the ex-hunter found himself utterly confused as a girl walked in. She looked annoyed, frown lines marring her pretty face as she angrily bit into a lollipop. Her hair was a wild mowhawk, shaped more like a hedgehog than actual hair and several strands of her blonde locks were braided, so long that they bumped against her ass as she walked. She was also dressed unconventionally, wearing a short, plaid mini skirt over neon pink fishnets and platform gothic boots, covered in straps and buttons. She also donned a pair of black and white striped arm warmers and a shirt that said, "work it bitch," though Pierre had no idea what she was trying to work. The most noticeable thing about her however, was the giant heart shaped tattoo on her left cheek and the white contacts in her eyes.
She paused in the doorway before shrugging and throwing her luggage onto the extra bed. "Yo." She saluted him before she plopped down on the bed as well, legs cocked open like a man, still biting at her lollipop. "I'm your roommate."
Pierre blinked. "But…you are…girl. I zought zat the school did not allow ze co-ed dorming?"
"Oh yeah? Well let me tell you a little something about this fucked up school. It's apparently filled with a bunch of bigoted assholes and since I just happen to be a big fat lesbian I have to dorm with a guy, since you know I'm just too weak to keep myself from fingering all the nice little girlies in the female dorms!" She began screaming at him before she rose from the bed, throwing the lollipop's stick on the floor before she stormed out of the room and slammed the door behind her.
For a moment, Pierre just stared at the door before he looked around the room and picked back up the book he had been reading. The door suddenly swung back open and the girl stuck her head in the doorway. "I'm Rini by the way." And then she slammed the door closed again.
He didn't know what he had been thinking. He hated this place. His pale fingers tightened against the book he carried as he made his way through the halls. Pierre desperately wanted to go home to his family but he refused to return looking like a failure. However, he had already been at school for a month and the closest thing he had to a friend was his apparently bipolar lesbian roommate.
"Look at this, the French fag is back. How ya doin' Frenchy?" A male voice taunted him as he walked and Pierre cursed his luck.
The male's name was Fabian Hitchens and since the very first day that they had met, he had firmly decided that he hated Pierre with a passion and that he was gay.
Ignoring the other male, he swept past him as walked down the hall. However a hand gripped at the back of his shirt and forced him backwards before slamming him into the wall. Fabian's hawk like nose came into his vision and the boy's nostrils flared as he sneered down at Pierre with black eyes filled with hate. "Hey fucktard, I was talking to you. Do they not teach you manners in your country?"
Three of Fabian's lackeys guffawed behind him, one of them hacking before spitting out a wad of yellow spit onto the ground in the hallway. Each of them had the muscle mass of a bull and Pierre cursed himself for his own stupidity. He should have brought his handgun with him; a shot in the kneecap would certainly keep these boys from bothering him again.
"Let me go," he ordered and there was not an ounce of fear in his voice. How could he be frightened? He had been face to face with a monster of legend and more than once, how then could he be afraid of a mere mortal?
Fabian's sneer deepened before a malevolent glint flashed in his eyes. "Don't lie to yourself faggot, you like that I'm this close to you, don't you? Probably want me to fuck you, don't you?" Pierre's face contorted in disgust as Fabian's body pressed against him. The bastard had an erection and it was pressing into his thigh.
"Hardly," Pierre sneered back. His senses went off in warning as Fabian's black eyes seemed to darken with something sinister, but before he could push the other boy away, he had struck.
The taller boy had some type of rock or sharp, heavy object in his hand and that object struck Pierre in the head full force. Dots swam across his vision and he faltered, sliding against the wall as pain erupted in his skull. Tentatively, he raised shaking fingertips to his head and pulled them back, rubbing at the wetness between his fingers. Blood.
Snarling, Pierre dove at Fabian, knocking him to the ground. With swift reflexes, he dug into the boy's bag and retrieved a pencil, stabbing the boy in the shoulder with the writing tool with ease. Fabian howled in pain, kicking from underneath him before Pierre felt himself being hauled upwards from under his arms.
Fabian stood up, ripping the pencil out of his shoulder with a cry of pain. "You little shit. I'm going to fuck you so hard you'll never stop bleeding!" In response to his threat, Pierre twisted his legs and kicked the taller boy in the jaw.
One of the boy's lackeys growled before backhanding the Frenchman across the face, successfully spitting his lip. Pierre spit in the boy's eye before he was punched repeatedly in the stomach, his arms straining as he tried to defend himself. How could he be so weak to let this happen to him? He was a huntsman. He should never be without his weapon. A particularly hard punch to the eye made him cry out in pain, able to feel blood squelch out from the area.
Fabian was panting as he continued to punch Pierre in the stomach before he began to laugh insanely. "Just one more punch and then we'll drag him into an empty class and fuck his ass raw. I want to break his nose."
Pierre growled and spat blood, his legs twisting and writhing in an effort to break free of the hold the third teen had on him. They had wised up and grabbed his legs after the first kick to Fabian's face. Despite his desire to stare his attacker down, he flinched, closing his eyes as the bloody fist came towards his face once more. But the hit never came.
Instead he heard a spluttered and strangled cry before the walls seemed to shake. Squinting open his usable eye, the orb widened at the sight in front of him. The blonde from the first day he had come to school was holding Fabian by the throat and had thrown him against the wall with such force that the building shook. Strangled gasps came from the boy's mouth, his face quickly turning red from strain.
Pierre couldn't see the blonde's face as his back was to him, but he must have looked terrifying judging by the look on Fabian's face. The boy's mocha colored skin was ashen as he stared up at Pierre's defender and his attacker.
"This is a warning. If you ever touch him again," the blonde leaned forward, his mouth close to Fabian's ear. "I'll kill you." He could feel Fabian's lackey's shake as they held him, their palms sweaty against his skin. With those words, he released the other boy and Fabian took a desperate gasp for air, tears filling his eyes as he took off running.
The three boys who were holding Pierre upright dropped him and he would have fallen to the ground had it not been for the strong arms that caught him. Strong arms which cradled his sore body to a solid chest, almost lovingly. He groaned in pain, staring into warm brown eyes before he beat his hand against the chest in an effort to get the boy to release him.
"Let…go of me," he whispered before coughing bright red splotches of blood which served to strike against the boy's clean brown tee-shirt
Growling, the blonde stared down at the French boy in his arms. "No. You're hurt. You're in no condition for me to let you go. You're coming with me." He lifted the other boy up, shocked at how little he weighed.
Pierre gave a sudden jerk in his arms and the blonde stared down at him in irritation. "Non! Non! I cannot. Zey will tell ma famille et-et-" His right eye, red and swollen stared up at the blonde desperately.
"I won't take you to the nurse. I'll take care of you. No one has to know, alright?" Pierre let out a sigh of relief before he allowed the fatigue to truly hit him and his head rolled against the blonde's muscular chest as consciousness slowly flew away from him.
"Is he going to wake up soon, Tanner?"
Tanner rolled his eyes as his little brother Rav asked him the same question for the fiftieth time. Brushing away a stray strand of Pierre's hair from his eyes, he turned towards large chocolate brown eyes. "I don't know, Rav. We just have to be patient. He's hurt pretty badly."
Rav nodded, peering over the side of the bed to stare at Pierre's still form. Taking his tiny hand, he pat at the black silken hair atop Pierre's head. "I hope he feels better soon. His hair is pretty," he said offhandedly, running his fingers through the other's hair. "Did the people who hurt mama and papa hurt him, Tanner?"
Tanner stiffened, squaring his shoulders and clenching his jaw. His eyes flickered towards Pierre's still form for a moment before he shook his head. "No, he was hurt by someone else." He looked at his brother in warning, eyes flashing amber. "Don't talk about that in front of him until I say it's ok, alright?"
Wrinkling his nose, Rav pouted. "Why? He's nice. He's not like them."
Glancing back at the still, practically angelic form of Pierre on the bed, Tanner bit the inside of his cheek. "I hope he's not." His rough, calloused hands brushed against the boy's cheek. His other hand fisted at his side in anger at seeing Pierre's swollen eye, the flesh nearly purple and so inflamed that his eye could no longer be seen.
The Frenchman let out a groan, his uninjured eye flickering open and focusing on the tall form above him. "Où? Quoi?" Pierre could vaguely remember being beaten by Fabian and his cronies but everything after that seemed to be a blur. He knew immediately that he was not in his dorm or the medical school being that his bed was at least king sized rather than an uncomfortable twin, plus his dorm had only one window and it was not directed towards him, so this heinous amount of sunlight beating down onto his face was obviously due to his being somewhere else.
A warm hand settled on his chest before pushing him back down onto the bed gently. "It's alright. You're safe now. But you're hurt, alright? Don't move too much," a deep, masculine voice said from above him.
Pierre flinched and jerked in pain as a bag of ice was placed over his eye. Angrily, he smacked the offending bag away and tried to sit up. His stomach and chest screamed in protest and glancing down, he noted that he was nude from the waist up. His upper body was a collection of blue, black, and purple bruises still tinged with red in their freshness. However, he was less concerned with his injuries as he was concerned about where the hell he was and who the hell he was with and why they had the audacity to undress him while he was sleeping! "Who gave you the right to undress me? Who-who are you? Where am I?"
The figure dabbed at his eye with the ice again and Pierre smacked his hand away, only for one of his hands to be twisted behind him in a vice grip. The Frenchman howled from underneath him, writhing and kicking and yelling what were no doubt obscenities at Tanner, but the blonde held the other down with firm, yet gentle strength, applying the ice to his eye. "The fact that you're injured and in need of medical care gave me the right to undress you," he growled as he used his body weight to keep the other boy still. "You're in my house off campus and my name is Tanner. I brought you up after Fabian and his crew attacked you, you asked me not to take you to the hospital, remember?"
Good eye widening a fraction, Pierre stilled underneath the stronger boy, nodding his head slightly. Movement to his left brought his attention to a little boy who couldn't be older than eight or nine. The child smiled at him shyly, teetering back and forth on his tiptoes, muddy brown hair long and stringy as it fell into his face.
"Hold this up to your eye," Tanner instructed, shoving the bag of ice into his hand. "I need to rub some more of this antiseptic on you and bandage you up now that you're awake." Rough, calloused hands dipped in some sort of oil rubbed across Pierre's bare skin, making him flinch.
Begrudgingly, the ebony haired teen held up the ice pack to his eye, hissing in pain. The little boy was still there, quietly staring at him and Pierre wrinkled his nose. "You have a child? How old are you? Eighteen? Nineteen?"
Tanner snorted as he applied more of the salve to the pale boy's body. "He's my brother and I'm twenty if you must know." He pulled back to observe the sheen of antiseptic across the bruised skin and nodded in approval before reaching for the roll of bandages. "Do you always ask so many questions to someone who's saved your life? Lift your arms," he ordered sternly.
Glaring at him with his good eye, Pierre lifted his arms. For a moment he watched in silence as the other man's skilled hands expertly wrapped the bandages from underneath his armpit to just underneath his navel. "Pourquoi?" Tanner glanced up at him with a blank expression. "Why? Why did you aide me?" Although bravery was hailed among men, very few people would actually be willing to intervene in a fight to help another, unless they wanted something…
"Are the bandages too tight?" Pierre shook his head, frowning. "Crazy idea, but maybe I'm just a nice guy and I didn't want to sit by and watch you get wailed on? You can relax, I don't want anything from you," he added as if he had read the Frenchman's mind.
"Why does your brother stay avec vous? With you, with you I mean. Where are your parents?"
Tanner stiffened before he grabbed the jar of antiseptic salve and the bandages from off of the bed before he left the room. The little boy approached him, jumping onto the tall bed with ease. "Our parents died," the brunette explained sadly, little fingers drawing circles into the bedspread. It was the same action that Pierre did whenever he was sad or nervous and he often turned away when someone asked about his parents.
He glanced at the door that Tanner had exited from.
They were the same.