Cut scene #6 – Sleeping Arrangements
So because I’m the queen of angst, I actually wrote this scene in the LAST CHAPTER OF THE LAST BOOK. For reals, I decided I needed to introduce a new conflict right when all the conflicts were meant to be solved. It is not that some version of this doesn’t happen but it takes Ray a lot of soul-searching and talking to Alec and his mom to realise that a) it’s not healthy for him and Josh if Josh is always the one getting him pregnant b) it makes him ignore the very real attraction he and his other alphas feel towards one another, which is pointless and tense and why the fuck should he cheat them all of a little pleasure when they have been through so much? c) It’s not that healthy for a pack to have so little genetic diversity anyway.
Josh is also a lot better at control than he thinks—as he’s proven again and again. Boy needs a little ego-boost, what can I say.
Anyway, here you go, this is just undiluted angst.
"I want... I need you to know: I'm not going to be angry if you decided to have sex with them. It's... Well, they are already on your exceptions list," Josh offered with a valiant smile.
Ray stared at him. "And what about yours?"
"Well, Scarlett Johansson is filming in L.A. and Chris Evans too, but as soon as they get back..."
Ray rolled his eyes at him. "I don't think I have time to have five full time lovers as well as raise five children and run a pack."
Josh swallowed. Ray didn't get why he was trying so hard when he was so clearly uncomfortable with both the conversation and its consequences. "It doesn’t have to be five. Just—You said it was your choice and it is, just because you... if you wanted to do stuff with one of them; it doesn't mean you have to do stuff with all of them. Even Gabriel said that was cool."
Gabriel had said it was Ray's choice and they would all respect it. Ray wasn't completely certain of how it would make Gabriel feel, though. He was still a little angry, but he didn't want to mess with his cousin's head—much less with the pack dynamics.
"Yeah, don't think Alec is interested, for one."
Josh stared at him. "I'm sorry, Alec isn't interested? They are all interested, you can't have missed that."
Ray shrugged. "Alec doesn't like topping," he explained and regretted it at once. "Fuck, I shouldn't have--"
"It's okay," Josh said at once. "It was pretty obvious what was going on with him and Gabriel. And anyway, you like topping."
Ray couldn't help it, he flinched.
"What—What did I say?" Josh asked in a small voice.
"I—" He glanced down, trying to slow down his thoughts enough to put them into words. "I don't want to top with anyone else."
"Oh," Josh said softly. Ray risked a peek and saw he was repressing a smile. "Okay, then."
He was so transparently pleased that Ray wanted their own relationship to be special. Unique. And yet... "Why are you telling me all this?"
Josh rubbed his face hard enough to leave his eyebrows in disarray but he kept his eyes on the floorboards at his feet. He'd sat on the chair, not the bed where Ray was lying looking at an art book. "I don't want you to— I— Can you promise to let me finish explaining before you say anything?"
"Okay," Ray said, and rolled onto his side, already biting his lower lip to forestall temptation.
"I like this, the way things are now. Without... without the instincts all in our faces. It feels like when we were— Before you presented, before everything got so—" He waved a hand around as if to express the mess their lives had devolved into. He stopped for long seconds after that. Ray waited him out. "If we— If we have another child together... It will make my wolf go all... possessive. It will..." He swallowed thickly and got to his feet, facing Ray's desk. "It will be hard, that's all."
Ray knew he had promised, but it was too much to bear for long. "You don't want to do it?" he asked and his voice crumbled like cheap plastic between them. It felt like his heart wasn't far behind. It was crazy, he didn't even want to...
"No!" Josh twirled around at once, eyes wide. "I'm not— Let me finish," he insisted. He was breathing heavily, like he was in the middle of a fight, not a conversation. "I want to. I... I love Mickey more than life itself, you know that. And I love you. But I don’t want it to be hard all the time. I don't think you... I don't think we can make it work if it's hard all the time, Ray," he admitted at last and something in his voice made Ray look up.
He was crying, openly and unashamedly, just watching Ray with plain terror written on his face.
Ray wanted to go to him, hold him close, promise him everything was going to be okay. But Josh had just brought up the one thing that Ray had been doing his very best not to ever think about: the fact that Alec's solution would make things better, but it wouldn't really fix them.
It would not stop the heats and their consequences. Ray didn't really have a choice about it.
"I... I'm not angry," he said, surprised to discover he was on his feet. "But I would like to be alone right now."
ALEC COMES IN AND TELLS RAY THERE MIGHT BE OTHER WAYS AND HE WILL NOT STOP LOOKING FOR THEM. If there's ways to prevent pregnancy in humans and animals, why should werewolves be any different? Josh can already stop himself from knotting him during heat, for one, and that might be all that's necessary.
Or you can imagine your own ending :p
[end cut scene 6]