Charlie and James, Chapter 7 - Unexpected / Mates

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7 of Charlie and James James wakes up in the hospital. He has no idea what has happened to him. He gets an unexpected visit from his parents, which does nothing to brighten his mood. Charlie has something very important to tell him................

This chapter contains scenes of sex.


Charlie and James By Ken Anderson

Chapter 7: Unexpected / Mates

...Where am I?

...Am I dead?

...What's happening here?

My eyes feel like they've been glued shut. There is a throbbing pain in the center of my chest as I try to breathe. I feel so weak... So tired. What happened to me? Was there an accident?

No...

The last thing I remember is watching Charlie at the studio, as he recorded the song he'd written for me. What did I do? Why does my body feel so heavy? Did I hurt myself? Did somebody hurt me? I can't remember. I try to raise my left hand to my feel my forehead, but I'm greeted with a stab of pain as something digs into my skin as a result. It feels like... A needle.

"Doctor Mason! Get in here! He's moving!"

I can hear someone's frantic voice as I struggle to open my eyes. There's the sound of rapid footsteps as someone else comes close to me. I smell cologne, and the thick, heavy musk of fur... It smells feline.

"He's trying to wake up! Don't let him get up; he's just had surgery! Increase the dosage of the sedative!"

Surgery? What surgery? What the HELL happened to me? What is this? I don't--

My thoughts end abruptly as I feel myself plunge back into the blackness of unconsciousness...


"James? Are you all right? Please say something... I need to know you can hear me."

That voice... I know that voice. The familiar sound of its deep, soothing bass, the slight whimper as it speaks the words...

That's Charlie's voice. My Charlie... My rock star. He's here.

I try to turn my head towards the sound. I manage to move a few inches. The pain in my chest has dulled slightly, and I can feel the slight warmth of some sort of opiate coursing through my veins. My eyelids feel heavy, but still, I try to open them. I manage to peel them apart slightly, and I can see the blurry outline of my mate standing over me as I do my best to raise the corners of my lips into a smile... I feel a soft paw rest against my arm, and hear a whine as his form leans in closer. There is a feeling of wetness on my forehead as he kisses me, the breath from his muzzle making me shiver as it brushes over my face.

"I'm so sorry..." he whispers.

I try to speak, but my throat is harsh and scratchy. All that comes out is a moan, and so I try harder to form the words of the question I've been dying to ask.

"What... happened?"

My voice doesn't sound the same as I remember. Just speaking the simple phrases makes it feel as if thousands of ants are trying to crawl out of my mouth. I wonder how long I've been out.

"It was my fault," he tells me, "I shouldn't have let this happen to you. I should've noticed what was going on when we were recording. I should've stopped you from going too far; but I didn't. I didn't..."

I can hear him cry softly as he ends the last phrase with a sharp whine. I feel hot tears splattering against the skin of my arm as he cries above me, pausing only to sniff and wipe them away. Even though I can't feel it, I know that I'm crying as well. He's reached up his paw to brush my cheeks. I turn my head away from him, towards what appears to be a window in the back of the dimly-lit room. I notice an IV stand with a bag of morphine attached to it. I can see the EKG. Shit... I'm in the hospital.

I see a brown-furred figure sitting hunched over in a small chair by the window. His head is buried in his hands. It can only be Oz. Charlie must not be the only one on a guilt trip.

But what happened? What aren't they telling me?

He raises his head towards me as he catches me staring. I watch as he rises to his feet and makes his way to the side of the small hospital bed, standing opposite Charlie.

"Dude, I'm so fucking sorry..." he whispers, "I didn't know you would end up like this. I shouldn't have left all that shit laying around; I wasn't thinking!"

I feel confused. I feel tired. My mind is shrouded with the familiar fog of the opiates. I feel as if I have nothing to do but to repeat the question I'd asked earlier.

"What... Happened?"

"You OD'd." Oz tells me. "You pocketed a bunch of that really pure coke I had laying on the desk in my room... You collapsed in the control room of the studio while we were recording the new album. I shouldn't have left that shit where you could get to it..."

"Not your fault..." Is all I can manage before letting out a hacking cough.

"Not yours... either." I whisper towards Charlie, as I feel his grip on my arm grow even tighter. He's still crying; I can hear him whimper softly every few seconds.

Just then, I see the door to the room open. The doctor I'd heard when I'd first woken up, Dr. Mason, I think he was called, steps slowly into the room. I watch as he makes his way to the foot of my bed. My original instincts about his species had been correct; the doctor is a panther, with jet-black fur. His green eyes wash over me as he makes several marks on the chart attached to my bed. He clears his throat as he starts to speak,

"How are you feeling, James?" he asks me. "Can you talk?"

I nod my head, and reply, "Barely."

"That's normal," Dr. Mason continues, "You've been sedated for close to three weeks now. When your friends brought you here, you'd overdosed on a massive amount of cocaine. Your heart had completely stopped by the time we'd gotten you into the OR. Once we'd managed to get it pumping, however, we noticed that it was beating erratically."

He makes a few more marks on my chart before he continues.

"We had to cut you open to get a better look. It turned out our instincts were right; you'd burst a blood vessel in your heart. We had to perform open-heart surgery to correct the damage; I hope you've learned your lesson from all of this. Your parents were quite furious when we told them, by the way. They said it must have had something to do with your boyfriend over there..."

He points to Charlie.

"My parents?!" I choke out, "You told my parents?!"

"Yes, James, we told your parents." The doctor replies calmly. "It's hospital policy to inform the family in the case of any life-threatening emergency. We also called the police; but your father told them to stay out of it."

I heave a sigh of utter contempt as I process this information.

My parents...

I haven't seen or spoken to them in years. I barely missed them the morning after I'd gotten raped, shortly before I'd met Charlie. I wonder if they'd changed much? Probably not...

My mom is probably still beautiful; she probably still plants her flowers and volunteers as a nurse. My dad is probably still pissed at the fact that I'm gay; most likely even more so if he's met Charlie, which, according to the doctor, he has. Shit... I just want to die. I want to die, and avoid all the bullshit that I know I'm gonna have to go through once I can actually sit up in this bed. I find my hand subconsciously reaching for the switch on the morphine IV. I need to feel something right now. Anything. I need to get high, and just float away... I hear the doctor chuckle lightly as he watches me turn the drip onto maximum flow.

"You've been going through those bags like bottles of water," he informs me, "I had to have you switched to fentanyl for a week just so you could get some relief. The morphine seems to be working fine now, although I doubt you'll be able to get much of a buzz from it, even at the maximum dosage."

I groan loudly, and fall back onto the bed. Great. I can't get any relief... What a fucking load of shit...

The doctor tells Charlie and Oz that visiting hours are almost over. Oz nods his head solemnly, and turns to leave the room. Before Charlie can follow him, however, I wrap a weak hand around his furry arm, and hold him back.

"Stay with me?" I whisper.

He looks towards Dr. Mason with a pleading gaze. The doctor appears to consider this for a moment, before nodding his head once.

"Fine..." he says, "But you won't be able to leave the room. And under NO circumstances are the two of you to engage in any... 'inappropriate' activities. James, your heart might give out if you try it. You'll have to wait at least another week or two to resume your usual routine. It could even take months."

With that, the panther leaves. Oz looks me over one last time before he exits, and says that he'll be back in the morning to check up on us. I nod my head in appreciation as he closes the door behind him. I hear Charlie sigh heavily as he moves a chair to the side of my bed, seats himself, and rests his chin on the plastic barrier that's been raised to keep me from falling to the floor.

"What did my parents say?" I ask him, my voice getting slightly better as I continue to speak.

Charlie's ears lower slightly before he responds. I can see pain in his eyes.

"They blamed me for everything..." he begins, "They accused me of ruining their son; of destroying your life and your health. They told me that they were gonna make me pay for what I'd done, and that I would regret ever having come into your life... I'm sorry to say this, baby; but I kind of believed them."

I raise a hand to stroke the side of his muzzle as the tears begin to well up in his eyes once more. I shake my head and smile, allowing my fingers to run through the thin fur on his forehead, before sliding down the back of his neck.

"You didn't do anything," I reassure him, "I was fucked up before I even met you. Nobody's going to do anything to hurt you; I wouldn't let you take that for me... Not for me. You're the best thing that ever happened to me. You're so kind, so gentle; you've been so amazing... You're everything I have, and I'd never let that go; I love you. Besides, my parents are a couple of controlling pricks."

Charlie chuckles halfheartedly as a sad smile forms across his face. He leans in to kiss me on the lips, and I savor every second of the brief, sweet connection between us until he pulls away.

"I love you, too," he tells me, "You're my soul, you know... You complete me. You make me feel like I can be so much more than just another burned-out rock star."

I use my hand to lower the barrier that he's leaning over, and scoot over on the small matress. I motion for him to get in next to me. After taking a cautious look towards the door, he accepts the invitation, sitting on the edge of the bed before bringing his legs up next to mine and laying his head down on the soft, warm pillow. The bed is meant for a single patient; it's so small and cramped that the two of us have to press our bodies together to fit. I don't care; I just want to be close to him.

I rest my head on his chest, and hear him sigh as he wraps an arm under me, and pulls me closer. I can hear his heart beating, and feel his chest rise and fall as he takes his deep, steady breaths. I find myself snuggling closer to him, wrapping my arm around him and squeezing him tightly; oblivious to the slight pain as the morphine IV threatens to be pulled from the back of my hand. Looking up to see his eyes, I notice that he's staring down at me. He looks so sad. He looks so worried. I kiss him lightly on the chin, and feel the slight thumping at the edge of the bed as his tail knocks against the frame. Charlie cracks a smile, but underneath the facade, he can't hide his true feelings from me. As hard as he tries, I can tell that he's expecting the worst...

"Don't worry," I say, "Whatever happens, we'll get through it. We'll get through it together. I don't care if I have go through hell, as long as you're on the other side, waiting for me..."

Charlie kisses me on the forehead again. His smile becomes warm and genuine. His hold on me becomes firm.

"I'll always be there. Now go to sleep; the sun is setting and you need to rest."

I nod my head, and lower my face gently onto his chest. The warmth of his body comforts me as I close my eyes. I slowly drift away, lulled to slumber by my mate's soft breathing and the clean, calming scent of his fur. I can't imagine a world without him by my side; we haven't been together very long, but already, I've developed such strong feelings for him that it would destroy me if anything happened to us... Something inside of me would die.

Something irreplacable...

When I wake up, it's morning. Charlie is no longer with me in my bed.

I hear soft footsteps coming from beside me, and I twist my head around to see Oz staring out the window.

"Good morning," I call out to him. He whips around, almost in shock, and smiles lightly when he sees that I'm awake.

"Morning," he says, "How're you feeling?"

"A little better," I reply, "Where's Charlie? He was here with me last night."

Oz nods his head. "I know," he says, "He left an hour ago. He said he's gonna pick up Zack and Cory from my place and bring them over here. They've been wondering how you've been."

I nod in acknowledgement as Oz tells me this. I'm glad that the band members think of me as a friend. It feels good to have people concerned about me. Well... Some people...

The door to my small room opens slowly as somebody twists the knob. I recognize the smooth, tan skin of the woman's hand before I see her face, along with the pearl bracelet that rests around her thin wrist. It's my mom... My parents are here.

Oz gives them a wide berth as they enter; he walks slowly up to the opposite side of my bed. My mom is wearing a red dress; she has this look of unexplainable sadness written across her face. The skin beneath her brown eyes looks reddened, as if she'd been crying recently. My dad is wearing his usual suit and tie; I notice that he has gotten a crew-cut. The expression on his face is one of pain, and underneath it, I can see the flickering flames of pent-up rage. He looks as if he's about to explode and send waves of fire washing all over the walls of the clean, sterile hospital room. He looks pissed.

As my parents make their way to my side, I see my mother gripping my father's arm for balance. She looks so disturbed; so shaken...

"Hey, baby..." she whispers to me.

"Hi, ma." I reply.

"You really fucked up this time, kid..." Dad tells me. He was always the type to cut right to the chase.

"Oh, get it over with," I spit back impatiently. "What do you guys want?"

My parents share a moment of silence as they look each other in the eyes. I can see that they've steeled themselves for whatever's about to happen. I feel my chest begin to tighten as I wonder what that might be....

"We're moving to Sandstone, out in Arizona..." My father continues. "And you're coming with us."

My mind is reeling. What the hell are they talking about?!

"What? No I'm not..." I say, refusing to even consider their offer.

"Yes, you are." Dad replies sternly. "They've got a great rehab facility out there, and we've already paid the fees to get you in. They're expecting you next week."

"That's bullshit!" I scream, "My whole life is here! My friends, my job, my boyfriend! You can't just take all that away from me! I'm a grown man!"

I see Charlie enter the room, followed closely by Zack and Cory. Hearing the argument which is occurring, the three of them move silently to the other side of the room, near Oz.

"The hell we can't!" my Dad roars, "You don't have any fucking choice! You're either coming with us, or we're having your junkie ass committed! As for that fucking dog you like to call your boyfriend, we'll be pressing charges against him for endangering your life! Can't you see what he's done to you?!"

"WHAT?!" I scream, "WHAT has he done to me? All he's ever done is love me! All he's ever done is care! It's YOUR fucking fault I ended up like this! I never would've STARTED getting involved with all this shit if it wasn't for YOU!"

I can see my father's face turning red as he gets progressively angrier. His arms are shaking; I know he wants to take a swing at me. Charlie makes his way to my side, and places a paw on my wrist. I hear him growling softly as my father continues to rage. He wouldn't let anything happen to me. He wouldn't stand for it.

"THIS NEVER WOULD'VE HAPPENED IF YOU'D HAVE JUST BEEN A NORMAL FUCKING KID!" Dad screams, "WHY CAN'T YOU SEE THAT?! IF YOU'D NEVER SHACKED UP WITH THAT FUCKING WOLF YOU USED TO FAWN OVER, YOU WOULDN'T BE HERE RIGHT NOW!"

"It was YOU who ruined it!" I yell back, "I WAS a normal kid! I had a perfectly great fucking LIFE! It was YOU who fucked it all up! It was YOU who ended it between me and Tommy! It's because of you that I first shot up fucking heroin! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!"

I can see that Charlie is slightly taken aback when I mention Tommy's name. I give him a warm smile, and clutch his paw tightly in my hand. Tommy is in the past. He and I have been over for quite some time. I belong to Charlie now; he belongs to me. The look of understanding across his face and the comforting nod he gives me helps me find the strength to continue.

"YOU NEVER WOULD'VE BEEN A JUNKIE IF YOU HADN'T BECOME A FUCKING FAGGOT!" my father screams.

I can see that my mother has begun to cry. She's shaking; I know she hates to see my dad act this way. I also know that, under any other circumstances, she'd have gladly accepted me for who I was. It was only her husband that kept her from acknowledging it.

I whisper to Charlie that he should bring her a chair, and he does. She thanks him softly as he places it on the floor behind her, and I see her trembling as she seats herself. I can see my father's angry glare as my lover gets near his wife. He's always had a passionate hate for anything that wasn't human, straight, or religiously "correct." I never understood how such a man could've been my father.

"In case you hadn't fucking noticed, I've ALWAYS been gay!" I continue. "It wasn't that fact that caused my problems! YOU threw me out of the fucking house! You told me to never come back! You were the reason I was raped by a bunch of bikers in the middle of YOUR fucking bed, over an insurance scam that I knew NOTHING about!"

That shut him up. The look on his face immediately saddens, his scowl replaced by a sad frown. My mother has cupped her hands over her mouth. The tears which had been building up steadily began to pour out now in waves.

"Is that what happened?" Dad asks softly. I nod my head in response.

"You were the one who jumped out of the upstairs window and took off running down the street?"

I nod again. I watch as my dad's knees buckle, and he grips the arms of my mother's chair to steady himself. "They told me they were going to do it if I didn't pay up..." he begins, "But I didn't believe them. What happened? Did you tell the police?"

"Hell fucking no," I reply angrily, turning to face Charlie. "My MATE took care of it for me, on the night that we met. He beat the living hell out of them, and I never saw or heard from them again. We've been together since that night."

I can see the scowl return to my father's face as he stands erect once more. "I don't care if he saved the world from a goddamn atom bomb..." he snarls, "He's a fucking ANIMAL! I'd rather you get raped a hundred times than spend one fucking night with him!"

Charlie gives a loud roar as he attempts to leap over my bed and swing at my dad. Zack, sensing the confrontation, grabs him by his waist and wraps him in a bear hug, refusing to allow him to continue.

"I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU FOR THAT!" Charlie yells, "HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU EVEN THINK THAT?! THIS IS YOUR SON! Your SON!"

"MY SON IS DEAD!" My dad roars back, "ALL I HAVE LEFT IS A WORTHLESS FUCKING JUNKIE!"

He turns back to face me. "You have ONE FUCKING WEEK to get all your shit together! ONE WEEK! If you're not on that plane with us, I'm calling the cops on your ass! You won't get to see that disgusting MUTT for the rest of your life!"

"GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!" I scream at him, tears beginning to stream down my cheeks. "GET OUT OF MY ROOM!"

My father gladly obliges, storming towards the door with my mother's shaking arm gripped firmly in his hand. As they walk out, he slams the door behind them.

The entire room is silent, save for my crying and Charlie's panting. I feel obliterated; almost suicidal. I can't hold back the tears leaving wet trails down my cheeks. I can't stop my arms from shaking or my fists from clenching as I seethe with a mix of rage and sadness. I want to leap to my feet and tear the room apart. I want to grab the bag of IV morphine, rip it open, and drink it all down, so that I'll never have to leave with those two...

I want to pull the pin on a hand grenade, and count down the remaining seconds of my life before the walls get covered in my brains and my rage...

Charlie snaps me out of it by placing a soft paw on my shoulder. I look up to him, and he uses his other paw to wipe the tears from my eyes. "Don't worry," he tells me, "We're gonna get through this. There's no way in hell that they can be serious about the things they said they'd do."

I shake my head slowly, and grip Charlie's paw firmly in my hand. "You don't know my dad." I whimper, "He never makes empty threats..."

I can see Charlie's ears droop as he begins to understand the consequences of going against my father. He falls to his knees at the side of the bed, and begins to cry. Oz tries to comfort him, but he pushes the otter away. I call loudly for the nurse, who appears momentarily. I point to the bag of morphine, nearly empty, and tell her I need more. I need more now. Seeing our expressions, she simply nods furiously, before jogging back into the hallway. When she returns with the new bag, she carefully steps past Charlie to hook it up to my IV line. As she flips the switch to a slow, steady drip, I tell her to crank it up all the way. Fortunately, she listens, even giving the bag a slight squeeze to force a good amount of the drug into my bloodstream. She could lose her job for that move, but I'm grateful. I stop crying as I feel the familiar, floating warmth begin to creep through my body. I look down at Charlie, still crying on the floor, and tell him,

"It'll be all right. Like you said, we'll get through this, remember? You've just gotta trust me. You have to let it all go...."

With that, I fall slack onto the bed, and nod out slowly from the overwhelming feelings of apathy and sedation. God, this is just what I needed. This is just what I craved. Finally, in the midst of all this chaos, I have a taste; just a taste...

...Of peace...


.....Two days later, I get released from the hospital.

Charlie picks me up in the Chevelle. He pushes me out of my room in the wheelchair that the hospital has provided. I fucking hate those things, but since I know that it's Charlie who's moving me, and not someone I've never met, I just let myself get through it. The wheels squeak loudly as we make our way down the brightly-lit hallway of the Intensive Care Unit, heading towards a large elevator at the end. I look back to check on him; he has a look of weariness on his face as he helps me along. I wonder what he's thinking...

As he pulls me into the elevator and presses the button that will take us down to the ground floor, he asks me if there's anything I need to do before I can leave.

"Do we have to fill out any paperwork? Pick up any prescriptions?"

I nod my head in reply. "The doc said there's a few forms I have to sign waiting for me at the front desk. The pharmacy is actually on the ground floor, so we won't have to go far to get the pills."

I take in the view of the oddly clean and shiny elevator as it starts to move. It's the complete opposite of the one in our apartment complex; this one looks well-kept. It smells faintly of bleach and ammonia; the janitors must have cleaned it recently. I hear Charlie sigh as we near our destination. Turning around, I see that he's looking down at me. There's a hint of sadness in those beautiful, hazel eyes.... I smile, and motion for him to come closer. He lowers his muzzle to my face, and I kiss him on the lips. This seems to brighten his mood a little.

"I love you." I tell him, "More than you'll ever know."

He smiles, and gets ready to move me as the elevator doors open. We go to the front desk, where I'm handed forms to sign as he jogs his way towards the pharmacy. Once I've signed, dated, and initialed all the required paperwork, I ask the nurse seated behind the desk, a female rabbit with thick white fur, how I'm supposed to pay for all of this. The grand total has come out to somewhere around forty grand.

"You don't need to worry about nothin' honey," She tells me, in a deep southern drawl, "Your friend, the otter? He took care of all the bills."

Oz...

I silently thank him, and promise myself that I'll do so in person once I get the chance. Just as I hand over the documents, I notice Charlie making his way towards me, a white bag clutched in his paws. I can hear the pills rattling around in it as he hands it over to me, smiling warmly as he resumes the task of pushing my wheelchair through the hospital's sliding glass doors.

The Chevelle is idling in front of the building, and I see Oz sitting in the passenger seat. When we approach, he exits the vehicle and holds the door open for me. I give him a grateful smile in return.

"You ready, babe?" Charlie asks me. I nod my head. "Yeah. You sure you can handle it?"

Charlie chuckles as he slips an arm under my legs, using the other to support my back. He lifts me out of the wheelchair with ease, and I wrap my arm around his neck as he lowers me into the car. When he sets me down on the seat, I thank him. The wheelchair is left sitting at the curb; I'd rather have Charlie carry me than face the ordeal of riding around in it again. Those things always make me feel so helpless...

Oz follows Charlie to the driver's side, and hops into the backseat. Charlie gets behind the wheel. He pulls the car away from the curb gently, taking care not to hit any bumps or do anything that might shake me. He looks over at me with a gentle smile as he pulls onto the on-ramp of Harbor City's inner-loop freeway. I turn back towards Oz, and see that he's staring at me. When I meet his gaze, he quickly lowers his eyes.

"Hey," I call to him, "Thanks. They told me you paid for my medical bills. I want you to know that I really appreciate that. You've been a good friend."

His frown turns into a thin smile as I show my gratitude. He shakes his head slightly before responding,

"Don't mention it, man. I felt like I had to; it was my shit that you overdosed on. I just hope you're not pissed at me for letting it happen. I still feel guilty as hell...."

I give a dismissive wave of my hand. "Don't even worry about it. It's not your fault that I OD'd, I was just being stupid, I guess. I've always been like that. I don't blame you at all, so rest easy, man. It's over and done with, so don't let it bug you."

I watch him nod his head slowly. He doesn't have anything else to say. I turn my attention to the road as Charlie drives us towards our apartment. I'm still wondering how the hell we're going to handle all this...

Once we've parked the Chevelle in our usual spot, Charlie comes around to help me out. I allow him to pull me to my feet, but I insist on trying to walk on my own. "You've already done so much," I tell him, "I need to do this for myself."

He still stands next to me as I slowly walk towards the apartment complex; ready to catch me should I fall. Upon seeing the look of worry in his eyes, I find myself actually wishing that I would fall, just so I could feel his arms wrapped snugly around me.

He just seems so distant.

Oz follows behind us as we lead the way through the lobby, and into the old, dusty elevator. Nobody says a word. It's too quiet; the silence is deafening. I wonder if it's something I've said or done. I wonder if they're stressed out because of what has happened to me...

Charlie leads us to the door and opens it for me. We step inside in silence. Oz informs us that he needs to take a shower, so Charlie and I give our permission. We stand next to the couch in the living room as the bathroom door closes and we hear the sound of water running. I can't take it anymore... I need conversation.

"What the fuck is going on?!" I blurt out, "Why are you being so quiet?"

His ears lower and his eyes fall to the floor as he tries to find the words. Instead of explaining himself, he simply takes me by the hand and leads me into our bedroom. I toss the bag of pills onto the nightstand and sit on the bed, watching as he rummages through the closet. After a couple of minutes, he stands up and clears his throat before turning on his heels to face me. My jaw almost hits the fucking floor when I see what he's holding. It's a small, black-velvet coated box. The kind of box that you only get to see on a couple of VERY special occasions...

Charlie seats himself next to me on the bed. He opens the box with a single claw, and turns it so that I can see what it contains. A pair of solid platinum rings. Engagement rings. I'm stuttering as I try to speak.

"Charlie? What is-- I mean, this--"

"I got them a few weeks ago," he explains. "After we'd left the studio that night, I was planning on surprising you. I had this whole routine planned out, it all seemed so perfect. But when you OD'd... Everything kinda went to shit. And now that your parents are gonna make you leave with them, I honestly don't know what to do. You wanted to know why I've been so stressed and quiet? Well, here it is..."

I reach out and take the box from him, removing the rings and letting them fall into my palm. The smooth, polished metal feels cold in my hand. I feel so many emotions welling up inside. It's shocking how something that looks so small can mean so much...

What do I do? What do I say? After thinking through my very limited options, I decide that there is only one choice; one course of action to take. In fact, it's a choice that I'd already made long ago, when I'd first met Charlie...

It's something I'd been waiting for, but never expected to do...

Charlie watches me as I take his paw and place the rings inside. There is a look of rejection on his face; he looks as if he's about to break down and cry. But I'm not telling him 'no.' Just the opposite, in fact. I smile brightly as I let him know my decision.

"Do you really love me so much?" I ask him.

"More than anything," he replies, "More than drugs, more than my music. More than life, even. I'd die for you."

"Would you wait for me?" I continue, "No matter how long it takes?"

He nods his head excitedly, his ears perking up. I can see the corners of his muzzle turning up into a smile as he realizes what I'm asking.

"I'd wait my whole damn life if I had to!" he exclaims. "I don't want anybody else! I want you, and only you! I've told you that you're my soul... I want you to be my mate!"

I can't help but chuckle at his brutal honesty. "Then get down on your knees, puppy," I instruct him, "And put the damn ring on, already. Make it official."

I never do well with speeches.

He nearly falls to the floor as he springs off the bed, dropping quickly to his knees. I watch as he fumbles with the rings, before he finds the one that is meant for me. His paw is shaking as he reaches for my left hand, which I offer to him with my fingers spread. With a slow, deliberate movement, he pushes the band onto my ring finger. The ring slides on smoothly; it fits perfectly. I admire the craftmanship with a smile, and laugh when I see that he's staring directly at it. "Get up," I tell him. He stands, and I take the remaining ring from his paw. Gripping his left paw in my hand, I repeat the process, sliding the ring onto his third claw. It takes some effort to get it over the fur, but eventually, it looks right.

His tail is wagging furiously to and fro as his body trembles with excitement. His muzzle is stretched into a wide grin, and his eyes are shining with a newfound pride as he looks down at me. I don't wait for him to speak; I throw my arms around his body and press my lips to his in a passionate kiss. Our tongues brush together, and I pull him close to me as our display of love continues. Lost in the moment, we fall onto the bed. I feel his arms rubbing slowly over my shoulders and back as his kisses get more frequent, and his breathing becomes quick. I grip the fabric of the t-shirt he's wearing, and pull it off in one swift movement. Charlie doesn't bother to pull mine off; I hear the sound of cloth tearing as he rips it from my chest using his claws. He tosses the now-useless piece of fabric away as he runs his paws over my chest and waist, stopping when he gets to my jeans.

"Are you sure we should be doing this?" he asks me. "The doctor said you'd have to wait a while before we could--"

I cut him off with a kiss as I unbutton his pants and start to slide them down his legs. "Fuck what the doctor said!" I almost scream. He unzips my jeans and yanks them off of me, tossing them on top of my shirt on the floor. I reach my hand down into his boxers, and start rubbing his sheath. My mate gives a pleasurable groan as he removes my own pair, before starting to pull off his. I take his growing length into my hand, and stroke it to full size as he positions himself on top of me. When I feel him starting to grow slick with his fluids, I tell him it's time. He grips my legs in his paws and wraps them around his waist before pressing his cock against my ass. "Are you sure?" he asks me once again.

I respond with a sharp downward thrust of my hips, drawing him into me and eliciting a loud groan from him as a result. He slips a paw under my neck and brings his muzzle down to meet my lips as he pushes himself in deeper. I moan into our kiss as his warmth fills me. I can feel a slight pain in my chest, but I ignore it. My mate begins to thrust into me, slowly at first, and steadily going faster. I dig my nails into the fur on his back, causing him to murr with pleasure as they break the soft skin underneath his fur. He begins to thrust harder, faster, until his hips are slamming against me with enough force to shake the bed. We fuck like the world is coming to an end. We fuck like it's our last day on Earth. We fuck like we've never fucked; with so much passion and meaning to the act that it almost seems to become a religious experience. We don't just fuck; we MAKE LOVE.

As Charlie slams into me, I grip the sheets on the bed for balance, and thrust my hips down to meet him. The bed slams loudly into the wall with each movement. The repetitive banging is sure to turn some heads next door. I don't care. I don't care about the noise. I don't care about my heart. All I care about is Charlie, and the moment that we're sharing. I hear him pant loudly as he starts to thrust even faster. I feel the base of his cock swelling up as his knot begins to form. The feeling of him inside of me is bringing me close to the edge as well. I grab the fur on the back of his neck and jerk his muzzle down to my lips, locking the two of us in a kiss as we near our joined climax. I feel his paws gripping my waist, holding me steady as he thrusts himself in completely. I tense up as I feel his knot slip in, but I just strengthen my grip on his neck and enjoy the feeling. I start to moan loudly; Charlie knows exactly what to do to make me scream. I find myself gasping for air with each time he plunges himself into my body. I don't think I've ever felt like this before... It's so amazing; so profound.

With several, deep thrusts, my mate gives a loud scream of pure ecstasy as he buries himself in to the hilt. He orgasms, and as I feel his warm seed filling me, I climax as well. The two of us share a cry of pure joy as we collapse onto the bed, panting heavily and sweating in the aftermath of our love. I feel a tightness in my chest, and I motion towards the bag on the nightstand with my fingers. Charlie, seeing the pain in my expression, snatches it up and tears it open, dumping the orange pill bottle into my palm. I check the label. Morphine. Unscrewing the cap, I remove two of the pills and swallow them dry, before reaching up to Charlie's muzzle with two more. He gently plucks them from my fingers with his teeth, and swallows them. I rub my hands over the fur on his chest lovingly, smiling with satisfaction when he murrs as a result.

"I'm yours, now..." I whisper to him, "For as long as we're still together. And if you'll wait for me, I'll be yours for the rest of my life."

"I swear it," he responds, "I'll wait however long it takes. I'll never have anyone else, and I'll always look forward to the day we get to see each other again."

"Hopefully, it's not too long from now..." I say, cupping my hands aorund his muzzle and pulling him towards me for another kiss. We allow our tongues to intertwine as we remain locked together, intent on deriving as much pleasure from what little time we have left as possible. I feel his knot begin to slowly deflate, and we are about to separate before having another round, when the bedroom door flies open.

"SAY CHEESE!" A familiar voice yells out. Charlie and I turn to face the intruder with shock written all over our faces. I snatch the blanket out from under us, and just manage to cover our lower halves when I see the flash. As my vision returns to normal, I see Oz standing in the door frame holding a digital camera. He's laughing like an idiot, any previous feelings of guilt and sadness having been cast aside the moment he'd heard us having sex.

"So, did you give him the ring?" he asks Charlie.

"What? Yeah..." Charlie replies. I hold up my hand so that Oz can see it; Charlie does the same. There is another blinding flash as Oz snaps another photo, before retreating back to the living room. Charlie and I take a look at one another, and we burst out laughing. Typical Oz. We lay on the bed, snuggled up under the warm blankets as the sun begins to set through the blinds on the window. I stare directly into Charlie's eyes as I bring him closer for one last, final kiss.

"I love you, rock star..." I tell him. He returns the kiss, and pulls me close, so that my head is pressed firmly against the fur on his chest.

"I love you, too."

If this was going to be the last week we'd spend together in a while, we would make it a memorable one. We'd do all the things that we'd never had time for, and we'd spend every moment together. We would enjoy this time, and create memories that would last us until the day we could see each other again. And we WOULD see each other again. Once this was all over and done with, we'd never let anything come between us...

Once this was all over, we'd be mates...


That's chapter 7! Chapter 8 should be up by tomorrow; I'm not gonna go into any vivid details, but you should all check it out once it's done. This story has officially reached its halfway point! after the next chapter, you'll be seeing a whole new side to Charlie and James..... It's a little different, but I hope you enjoy it. Some things change, but others stay the same....

--Ken