xbbsbdhsjs 21 for arlo and adam, im sorry 😭
21. accidentally knocking your head into someone’s chin
The transformation takes a lot out of Arlo.
The moon is sinking slowly beyond the horizon, and Arlo is tired, dozing with his chin atop Adam's head. Adam will have to formalize a report to the Agency in the morning, explaining why he disappeared with a recently turned werewolf who has been under heavy surveillance up until now, but he is confident he can convince them to see things his way.
They ran for hours, they sparred (Arlo calls it play-fighting, much to Adam's exasperation), and eventually Arlo simply collapsed in a lanky heap in the dirt, panting happily.
They will have to return to headquarters shortly after he wakes. Arlo will be ravenous after the energy expended by the shift, as well as by their activities afterwards, and the Agency will have ready access to the calories he'll need to recharge. Arlo insists there is a twenty-four-hour diner a ways outside Wayhaven that wouldn't mind the two of them staggering in just after sunrise covered in dirt and thoroughly exhausted so that Arlo could eat his weight in meat and potatoes, but Adam does not think the Agency would be as forgiving of their activities on that front.
Arlo claims the diner staff have definitely seen stranger things.
For now, sunrise is still an hour or so away, and it is quiet. Arlo's heart is a heavy, constant rhythm between Adam's shoulder blades. He is languid and relaxed, far more than he ever is within the Agency's walls, when the guards, the barrage of scents and sounds, the dozens upon dozens of eyes and cameras watching his every move leave his body a tangle of anxious knots, and his mood suffers for it.
Here, for now, there is peace. Peace Adam is happy to give him.
Unfortunately, Adam is so caught up in the peace of the moment that he does not hear anyone approaching until it is too late.
"Nateykins, I found 'em!" Felix's voice echoes through the trees like a bullhorn, and Adam sits up sharply, the top of his head cracking into Arlo's lower jaw so hard he hears the werewolf's teeth clack together painfully. Arlo yelps, reeling back, and Adam tips backwards himself without the bulky chest to support him. He hastily steadies himself, shooting to his feet and doing his best to dust himself off and look a bit less like he's been running around in the woods and rolling in the dirt the entire night.
Behind him, Arlo is growling and snuffling irritably under his breath, and Adam thinks if his vocal cords were capable of speech in this form, he would be cursing quite colorfully in every language he knows.
Felix pokes through the foliage with a bright smile, followed shortly by Nate and Mason, and Felix quickly notes Adam's stiff posture, his tousled appearance, and his proximity to the disgruntled werewolf at his back and leers. "Are we interrupting something?" he asks, eyes sparkling.
"A nap, mostly," Adam huffs as Arlo continues to grumbles, turning his face away in hopes that Felix won't be able to see the way his cheeks color at the implication.
"Together?" the younger vampire presses.
"Felix," Nate chides gently. "The transformation is exhausting enough without your needling. How are you feeling, Arlo?"
Arlo flops into the dirt again and huffs.
"Great, he's somehow gotten sulkier than usual," Mason snickers.
Arlo growls, and Mason growls right back.
"What's that saying about pots and kettles?" Nate hums, tapping his chin thoughtfully.
Thankfully, the three of them are quickly distracted by their bickering, and Adam turns to check on Arlo, who is watching the exchange through slitted silver eyes, his side rising and falling steadily with his breathing. Tired, but content. Surrounded by his pack.
Adam smiles to himself. Perhaps next time he will invite the others along, so they do not feel the need to hunt them down.
But, perhaps, there is a small part of Adam that relishes being able to spend these moments alone with Arlo when he can.
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