Author's Notes: This story is a WIP, but chapters should be submitted regularly. Feedback is always appreciated in any form. Email me with suggestions, pleas, or criticism! The basic beginning premise of the story was vaguely borrowed, with permission, from the lovely Lady Feylene's story "Beautiful Stranger."
Taming the Beast
By Lady Grey
After Charlie left with the soap, Remus fairly bounced back into the bedroom to get changed. Charlie, wonderful, sweet, handsome Charlie, wanted him, Remus Lupin. He felt a bit silly being so excited, he reflected as he slipped on a pair of nondescript grey boxers, but opportunities such as this rarely came his way. Sure, he had had his fair share of admirers; after all, he wasn’t unattractive. But the moment they found out what he was…Remus felt his heart wince at the memories. They left, disgusted, or worse, chased him away, calling him an animal, an abomination. He hadn’t been in love with any of them, not much anyway, but it had hurt nonetheless.
But Charlie knew what he was and didn’t care, wanted him regardless. The charming trainer wanted him, and not just for meaningless sex, Lupin’s inner monologue continued as he struggled into the pants, which were surprisingly comfortable and flexible for being so tight. Charlie wanted to have a relationship with him. Remus didn’t think he had ever been in a real relationship before. Well…there was Sirius, but he was still unsure what to call that interesting liaison from their school days. Barring that, he had had a few encounters before he learned that it was better to lie and leave without ever revealing the truth. After he figured that out, he had had only one or two men he simply couldn’t resist, but he had always left before they discovered his secret.
He hasn’t seen you Change yet, he cautioned himself as he pulled on an extra pair of Charlie’s boots. There’s no way to tell how Charlie would react. It was a painful experience for Remus, and most people found it horrifying; Charlie could easily have the same reaction. There was no sense in considering the future of their relationship until after the upcoming full moon. Remus firmly put this damper on his mood. He refused to open himself up to disappointment, although part of him acknowledged that it was already far too late for that. Pushing these thoughts aside, Remus finished tying his shoe and headed outside to join Charlie.
The man who had been so prominently featured in Remus’ thoughts looked up at the sound of the cottage door slamming shut. His fingers, which had been untangling a long rope, stopped their work as he stood staring at the vision in leather walking toward him. Remus’ fair hair glinted in the sunlight, still slightly damp from his shower. He was shirtless, revealing his wiry muscles and pale skin. And the pants…oh the pants. Charlie had no words to describe what they did to the werewolf’s slim hips and strong legs. When Remus flashed a grin to the motionless redhead, he found a part of his brain reduced to mush.
“Now that I’ve admitted my feelings, am I allowed to drool openly?” he burst out involuntarily.
Charlie was positively charmed when the dark flush that rose to Remus’ cheeks spread to his upper chest. “Only if I’m allowed the same right,” he returned, recovering himself and appraising the redhead’s own attractive form. Charlie found himself blushing as well under the scrutiny and quickly leaned down to grab something off the ground.
“As much as I hate to obscure the view,” he said as he tossed the material to Remus, “you’ll want to wear this tunic as well to cover yourself.” He shrugged his own on, willing himself to stop picturing the object of his desire naked. He was failing utterly at the attempt.
“Ready?” he asked.
Remus nodded, grabbing the buckets and brushes. Charlie hauled the thick rope onto his shoulder and they headed into the dragon pen.
As they approached Cressa, she opened a sleepy eye and stared at them appraisingly. Recognizing her new friend, she blew a smoky blast of fire in his direction, forcing him to dive out of the way.
“Argh,” complained Remus as he picked himself up and collected the brushes he had dropped.
“Aw c’mon Cressa, play nice,” coached Charlie as he slipped closer to the dragon. He used his wand to slip the rope through the loop affixed to her collar and quickly attached the other end to a large metal eyehook firmly rooted in the ground. She didn’t seem to like this at all and snorted another ball of fire, this time at Charlie, who also rolled away.
“Damn it, I guess she’s not in the mood,” he commented as he stood up and dusted himself off. “All right, you know what to do, right?”
Remus nodded, still eying the unhappy dragon warily.
“Then grab hold and good luck.”
The next few hours were consumed with desperate attempts to crawl all over a pissed off dragon with precariously balanced buckets of soapy water. By the time they had actually scrubbed a good deal of the mud and other disgusting particles that had attached themselves to the rowdy creature, both men were exhausted.
“No wonder you’re in such good shape,” commented Remus as Charlie carefully released Cressa from the rope. They both ducked as she sent a thankful flame in their direction before prancing off to join her friends.
“You pretty much have to be,” admitted Charlie as they collected their equipment and left the pen. “Still, there are some days that I just want to let them back into the wild to find a lake to soak in or something.”
Tossing the buckets, brushes, rope and tunics into the lean-to that functioned as a shed, they gratefully headed back to the cottage for a well-deserved lunch.
“I’m too exhausted for anything other than leftovers. Good for you?” asked Charlie.
“Great,” replied Remus, too hungry from the workout to care one way or another. Kicking off their muddy boots outside the door, they entered the kitchen. Charlie immediately opened the fridge, an enchanted one that didn’t need electricity, and rummaged for some leftover steaks and vegetables.
Remus started setting the table. Passing Charlie, he paused, closing his eyes and inhaling deeply. With the heavy scent of dragon gone for the most part, the smell of a sweaty Charlie was almost overwhelming with his heightened senses. He released a breath, then inhaled again. It was intoxicating, the mix of sweat and natural odor. He felt the hypnotic call of the pheromones, the underlying desire.
“You okay?” Charlie’s concerned voice interrupted his thoughts.
His eyes snapped open to see Charlie standing in front of him, a worried look on his face.
“Fine,” he hissed through clenched teeth, trying to ignore the insistent pounding of instinct.
“Are you sure? You seem…” Charlie extended a hand to lightly touch Remus’ arm. It was enough. Remus growled and grabbed the redhead by the shoulders, pulling the surprised man close to his chest. He buried his head in the crook between Charlie’s neck and jawline, breathing in deeply.
“Mmm,” the wolf in him said silently. “Mine now.” Out loud however, he only growled. Charlie remained carefully still.
“Remus?” he questioned gently. “Why…?”
Charlie’s voice pulled him back to reality and he reigned in
the beast. He pulled back abruptly, backing away from Charlie. “I’m sorry, I’m
sorry,” he whispered. “I didn’t mean to…I’m sorry I scared you, I’m sorry…”
”You didn’t scare me,” Charlie interrupted. “I was just surprised.” He reached forward and captured Remus by the wrist. “Sit down,” he implored, feeling the werewolf’s trembling. “It’s okay,” he soothed, “it’s fine, just relax. Tell me what happened.” He guided the shaking man into a chair and pulled another one up next to him, sitting down and rubbing reassuring circles on Remus’ back.
Remus leaned forward, placing his elbows on the table and burying his face in his hands. He took deep breaths, trying to regain his control. Charlie continued to stroke his back comfortingly, waiting for him to recover enough to speak.
Remus finally gathered his wits. “I’m sorry,” he repeated.
Charlie shook his head. “You have nothing to apologize for.”
The werewolf sighed and tried to explain. “It’s the wolf, it wanted…” he paused. What had it wanted? “It wanted your scent, so it could identify you as…as someone close, under its protection.” He looked at Charlie. “It wanted you as part of the pack.”
Charlie looked touched. “Really?”
“So, um…” Charlie shifted a little nervously. “Am I then? Part of the pack, I mean?”
Hesitantly, moving slowly so the other man could stop him if he wanted to, Remus leaned into Charlie’s neck again and inhaled, more calmly this time. “Yes,” he growled into the freckled ear, sensing rather than feeling Charlie’s shiver at the sound.
“Mmm,” hummed Charlie happily, loving the feel of hot breath on his neck, the sound of Remus’ voice in his ear. Instinctively, he closed his eyes and tilted his head away from the werewolf, giving him full access to his throat. He heard a pleased whimper from Remus before feeling a tongue lick slowly from the base of his neck, tracing a path to his jaw.
“Mine,” he heard growled in his ear. He opened his eyes.
“Yours,” he acknowledged, looking deeply into Remus’ animal eyes, which seem to be glowing, emphasizing the gold flecks.
Remus looked startled at this submission, the human side regaining dominance swiftly.
“Charlie?” he asked wonderingly.
Charlie shrugged. “I want the wolf to trust me, and I can only do that if I’m…a member of the pack.”
Remus just stared, completely undone by this incredibly trustful act. “Thank you,” was all he could think to say.
Charlie smiled. “Thank you.” Cautiously, giving Remus the same time to escape that he had been offered earlier, he leaned forward and brushed his lips softly against the other man’s. He pulled back, looking with concern at the werewolf. “You’re okay?” he enquired, a little concerned.
Remus smiled, one of his smiles that looked like it had stolen a ray of sunshine. “Yeah,” he whispered. “You?”
“Yeah,” Charlie echoed, reflecting the smile. Remus leaned in to touch his lips to Charlie’s, again with gentle pressure. As they separated, ending the chaste kiss, Charlie’s stomach growled loudly. Remus laughed and Charlie looked embarrassed.
“Let’s return to that original idea of lunch, shall we?” the sandy-haired man suggested.
After their meal, the two companions worked on several small chores, none so exhausting or dangerous as the morning grooming. They joked, laughed, and generally enjoyed each other’s company. Remus made dinner, a relatively simple affair of pasta and vegetables, but extremely filling. Charlie in turn washed the dishes while Remus showered off the grime of the day’s labor.
Placing the last dish back in the cupboard, Charlie wandered into the bedroom, kicking off his pants and laying back onto the bed. A few minutes later the shower stopped running and Remus strolled out of the bathroom, towel secured around his hips.
“Oh, taken to wearing a towel now?” teased Charlie from the bed. “I’m not sure I approve!”
Remus rolled his eyes. “Help yourself to a shower, oh ye of dirty body and mind,” he laughed back.
Charlie rolled off the bed and headed to the bathroom. “Think it’ll do anything for my mind?” he inquired over his shoulder.
“I hope not!” tossed out Remus suggestively.
He heard Charlie’s deep laugh from the other room and smiled to himself before slipping into a pair of clean underwear and seizing Charlie’s place on the bed. It had been a long day yet again; he was looking forward to a good night’s sleep.
Reflecting on the lunchtime activities, Remus felt relatively satisfied. Charlie hadn’t freaked out when the wolf had appeared. And once he had figured out what was going on, he had gone along with it freely. Then there was the kiss. Oh, the wonderful, sweet-tasting kiss. Remus closed his eyes, reliving the soft lips against his own, the delightful proximity, and the tender look in Charlie’s gaze. He sighed. Lovely, entirely too lovely. Part of him was frustrated by the slow pace of their relationship; that part of him wanted to grab Charlie when he emerged from the shower, pull him onto the bed, and fuck him until the redhead screamed his name in ecstasy. That aside, the majority of him found the leisurely speed to be charming and just what he wanted, needed. This was a romance, he realized. He was, to some extent, being courted. How…cute. Sweet. Positively adorable.
As he continued to ruminate on the delightful nature of the burgeoning relationship, Charlie returned to the room, a towel swathed around his hips, dipping temptingly low in the front.
“Hello,” Remus said suggestively, gazing longingly at the side knot in the towel.
“Hello yourself,” answered Charlie smoothly, walking over to the dresser to excavate a pair of boxers. Seizing an amusing pair with Quidditch balls on them, he artfully dropped the towel to his feet before pulling them on.
Remus propped himself up on his elbows to admire the view. “Mmm. Ass.”
Charlie turned back to him, laughing.
Remus blushed. “Did I just say that out loud?” he asked disbelievingly.
“Indeed you did,” chuckled Charlie as he sidled up to the bed.
“I’m never opening my mouth ever again,” Remus said ruefully.
The redhead plopped down onto the bed beside him. “Never?” he inquired seductively, managing to look somewhat devastated by the declaration.
Remus found himself blushing again. “Well, maybe no…” He was interrupted by Charlie’s lips as they captured his own. Remus responded willingly, reached up to wrap his arms around Charlie’s shoulders as hands gently settled on his waist. Charlie’s tongue slid questioningly against his lower lip and Remus invited him in, his own tongue finding occupation in Charlie’s mouth. Remus was relatively sure he had found heaven, and was disappointed to realize that oxygen, or lack thereof, was swiftly becoming an issue. Pulling back for only a second to admire the pleased expression on Charlie’s face and catch a breath, Remus pulled the other man down on top of him, pressing skin to skin. A moan found its way from Charlie’s throat as the redhead happily rested his weight on the werewolf.
A good period of time later, Charlie finally peeled himself away from the other man, who whimpered in protest.
“I won’t be able to restrain myself for much longer,” he explained regretfully.
“Nor can I,” admitted Remus, still disappointed. “Damn this slow business.”
Charlie chuckled. “Indeed. I think our best bet at this point is sleep.”
Remus nodded in agreement and scooted up to get under the covers. Charlie climbed over him to his side of the bed, whispering “Nox” and darkening the room.
Timidly, the redhead curled up to the werewolf, lightly laying an arm over his waist. Remus gladly extended his own arm to cushion Charlie’s head. Charlie gave a small, satisfied noise and nuzzled his shoulder endearingly. Unspoken words of affection hung between them, silent but present, as they drifted off to sleep.
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