Packed – Flash Fiction – Sage & Leo: Recompense 7

Part 7 of Sage & Leo’s story, starting with Recompense. The full collection can be found here. Each can be read as a standalone, but they’re best enjoyed in order.

*Leo has returned to his pack, his year of recompense completed. It isn’t quite everything he remembers. Or maybe it’s not the pack that’s changed, but Leo*

The pack was noisy compared to Sage’s house, even with all the tenants living interior walls away in a way that  Leo’s ‘wolf hearing could always pick up on. The way the pack talked and argued and the pups playing and crying and screaming as pups always did, it all pressed against Leo’s ears, heavy and strong.

He clenched his jaw against it and stepped into the alpha’s office to present himself and his return.

“You smell like vamp,” alpha said.

“You made me live with one for twelve moons,” Leo retorted.

Alpha raised an eyebrow.

That had been rude, had been outside the bounds of expected behaviour within the pack. Leo wasn’t strong or organised enough to start fighting with the alpha. He was middle pack for a reason and that reason lay primarily in his passivity. Leo was happy to let others tell him what to do.

And yet…

Once alpha was done with settling him back in, Leo returned to duties. He unpacked his stuff into his room, musty and odd and small compared to the room he’d been granted at Sage’s house. He shoved open a window. He would get used to it.

Everything was exactly where he had left it and he unpacked his clothes and toiletries back into their normal places. Once he reached the bottom of the bag he stopped. His fingers brushed softly against the blanket, cartoon fangs coated it.

He left it in the bag and shoved the bag under his bed.

This was his life. Sage had been a brief blip and he would forget about them soon enough.

He emerged from his room and headed into a communal area even as the sound pressed against him from all sides.

“Leo!” Raffi called, waving him over to join her.

“Hey,” he greeted, taking a seat by her side, the acrid scent of her coffee stinging his nose.

“We’ve missed you.”

“Missed you all too.”

“Whoa,” she waved a hand in front of her nose. “You reek of bloodsucker!”

Leo rubbed the back of his neck. “Oh?”

“I suppose it’s only logical with you having been stuck with one for the last year. How did you get back?”

“It was the end of the agreement.”

“Yeah, but you must have had to, like, sneak out or something, right?”

“No.”

“No?”

“No. Sage even helped me pack up my stuff.” Far too easily for Leo’s mind at that. It seemed like they didn’t even care that Leo was leaving. Except, he supposed, for that blanket packed into his bag. Was it meant to mean something? Had he too thoroughly claimed it at their house and now it would always smell of him? Was it supposed to be comforting when Leo had a whole pack to lean on? Or did it mean something else entirely? Something Leo still wasn’t quite willing to investigate.

“Sage?”

“The vampire.”

“You call that monster by its name?”

Leo bit his tongue. Some part of him wanted to argue. Some part of him wanted to snap that if a human called a werewolf a monster there would be all kinds of payback. But he didn’t. He kept the anger to himself and pressed his fingers into the seat of the bench.

After all, why should he defend a vampire anyway? Even if that vampire was Sage.

Don’t worry your pretty little head about me leaivng the story here, Sage & Leo will be back next week

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and I’ll see you all next week for another Short Story.

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