**Let’s see what Nico and Sean are up to in episode 3! (and thanks to a wonderful, kind tweet from Duncandahusky, I realized I have two Sean’s up on here. They aren’t the same! I just apparently like the name😊) Enjoy!**
Nico was quiet. Far, far too quiet. In a way that I had never seen from him since the moment we moved in. What was worse, he still couldn’t look at me. Even though we were eating, I still usually had his focus. But now it was a glance and gone again. And though, in the past, his intense concentration when we were together could be unsettling on occasion, now I missed it. And I really didn’t like they way it made me feel, telegraphing just how uncomfortable he was.
“Why are you so upset?” I made sure my tone was soft and non-accusatory.
“I don’t…I mean, I’m not sure…” He blew out a breath and pushed his plate away. He was mostly done with his food, so I wasn’t worried about him not having enough calories. If he was hungry again later, I’d make sure he ate. But right now it was obvious we needed to clear the air between us. I turned my chair to face him more fully and waited for him to get his thoughts together.
After several minutes of silence, which weren’t exactly comfortable, I could tell he had no idea what to say. It was up to me to get things moving. Things had gone a little sideways, and my normally self-assured, take charge wolf was at a loss. I needed to help.
“What do you know about human dating?”
Nico shrugged one shoulder, a quick motion. “Nothing.
“Okay.” I tapped my fingers on the table, then realizing I was fidgeting, reached out to him. Nico took my hand so fast I didn’t even register his movement. I smiled. “Usually, when a person is interested in someone, they make those intentions known by flirting. Suggestive comments maybe. Or sultry looks. Asking them out. Sometimes its subtle, sometimes it’s more blatant. Those would be the kinds of things that I would have been looking for.”
“Wolves don’t…I mean, I guess we do. Sort of.” Nico had to take a breath, but he finally was able to look me in the eye. And now that I knew to look for it, I don’t know how I missed it before. The warmth and affection in his gaze was clear. “But most of the time, with us, it’s another wolf. Scents inform so much for us that it’s easy to tell if there’s attraction. And when we meet someone who could be mate, we know right away.”
“Scents don’t lie,” I murmured, remembering back to the beginning. I scooted a little closer. “So you caught my scent and knew I was mate.”
“You smell like home.” His voice was so soft, I almost missed it. would have if I hadn’t been sitting so close to him. I was utterly charmed by his words, pleased down to my toes that I could be that for him.. But I filed that away for the moment because there was more to discuss.
“So all this time, all the things we’ve been doing together, the way you are with me, it’s because you knew I was your mate?”
Nico cocked his head to the side, all confused puppy. I loved it when he did that. He was so adorable and it always made me grin. But I tried not to let that sneak out right now because under no circumstance did I want him to think I was laughing at him. Instead, I knew I had to explain.
“See, I thought we were just friends. Roommates that got along really well in each other’s space.”
Nico’s scowl was quick and surprising. “So you just cuddle with all your friends? You let them touch you whenever they want? And hug them all the time?”
“I thought that was a wolf thing!” How was I supposed to know any differently? He’d always been tactile, and I chalked it up to him being a wolf shifter.
“It’s a you and me thing!” He sounded so indignant.
“Why are we yelling?”
Nico opened his mouth and then shut it again. After a second, he shook his head. “Okay, fine. I don’t understand humans all that well. And your rituals and customs or whatever. So I’m just gonna say it. I hate it when you’re not here. I worry about you all the time and I want you where I can touch you whenever I want. It soothes me to have you close and to snuggle into you and I hate when you go to bed and I have to sleep alone. So let’s just stop that, and just be together and I can cuddle you and love you and just take care of you.”
“I know that for humans—what?”
I stood, walked the three steps to his chair, and touched the back of his neck. Nico immediately went still. When I nudged his knee he instantly spread them to make room for me and then wrapped his arms around my waist.
“Okay.” I repeated, stroking the short hairs on the back of his head. “That all sounds really good to me. Thank you for telling me what you want. I want it too. I’m gonna need more conversation, and you’re going to have to talk to me if I do something you don’t understand. But absolutely yes.”
Nico let out a long, slow breath and then gave a sharp tug so that I lost my balance. But he caught me and helped me settle on his lap. I wasn’t worried about being too heavy. He was a wolf shifter and far stronger than the average human. He could hold me with no problem. His warm brown eyes studied mine, and then a huge smile lit his face.
“Can we get distracted now?”
Instead of answering, I kissed him.