#4 - MOONLIGHT BECOMES YOU
Shawn remembered how it used to be. How Wade’s skin felt beneath his fingers. The softness of his love’s honey-toned flesh. Could pinpoint the moment his world, as he knew it, ceased to exist.
November 17, 2011.
Wade had made Shawn promise that, if they ever got separated, or if one of them was infected; they would move on, they wouldn’t try to find each other. They would remember how it used to be.
November 17, 2011 was when Shawn woke up and Wade was gone. They’d been traveling under the cover of daylight, as stupid as that may sound. But they were safe in the daylight. At least that’s what they’d thought.
They’d been living in Austin for three years when the first wave of the virus hit. Of course, the Government had tried to put a lid on it. Tried to make the country, the world, believe it wasn’t as bad as some panic-merchants were saying. What a big fat lie that had been. One more lie in a sea of lies. But then, Shawn had told his own. He’d promised he wouldn’t look for Wade. As if that was a promise he could ever keep. Wade was the very air that he breathed. Every beat of his heart an echo of Wade’s name.
So here he was, finally, staring into those beautiful green eyes once more. Eyes he thought he would never gaze into again. It had taken two years, but he was face to face with the love he could never leave behind.
“You promised not to look for me,” Wade’s voice was low and rich and rumbled from deep in his chest. His gaze raked over Shawn’s face, traveling down his body.
Shawn shook his head, but no words left his lips. The communication link always amazed him. How those infected with the virus could communicate with the mind instead of using speech. “I had my fingers crossed. You’d have done the same.”
“I know.” Wade yearned to reach out and grab Shawn to him, hold him in his arms, kiss the tiredness, the pain, the heartbreak from his blue eyes. But it was too late for that now. “You’ve made quite a name for yourself. Your work has not gone unnoticed.”
“You know me, if a job’s worth doing.” Shawn’s lips lifted in a weird imitation of a smile. “I missed you.”
Wade’s face lit up in the darkness. “Me too.”
“Was it that girl, from the abandoned diner?” Shawn’s gaze never left Wade’s although in his peripheral vision he could see the others moving closer.
“Yeah, she was gone by morning and then I started to notice the changes a few days later. The usual signs. She was obviously further along than we thought.”
“Is that why you were gone when I woke up that last morning?” Shawn ached to brush back the dark hair that fell across Wade’s forehead as he nodded. Of course, it was longer now. But Shawn liked it long, had liked to run his fingers through it and remembered the way it had slid like silk across his skin. “You didn’t say goodbye.”
“Baby, we’d said it a hundred times before. But when it came down to that last time, when it was for real— I just couldn’t do it.” Wade’s eyes glistened as the moon rose from behind a cloud and he looked up at the shining white orb hanging in the night sky. “So—I guess this is it.” His gaze fell to Shawn’s once more.
“I guess so.” Shawn shifted his weight as he took a step back in preparation. “Do you ever wonder where we’d be if this stupid virus hadn’t escaped into general population?”
“We’d be where we belong. Together.” Wade responded softly, his gaze staring deep into Shawn’s eyes. Eyes that he remembered filled with laughter, filled with love, the green so bright that it blinded Wade to everything but him.
“I love you.” Shawn said, his voice cracking and his green eyes incandescent in the light of the moon.
“And I love you.”
It was over in the blink of an eye. Everything was simultaneous. A terrifying growl, followed by a single gunshot. Silver bullets—at least the fairytales had been right about that one. They’d been right about precious little else.
“Are you okay?”
He heard the concern in the woman’s voice as she holstered her gun, not that she’d needed it. He’d fired the shot himself. When her hand dropped onto his shoulder, he looked up at her from his position on the floor, legs splayed wide, the huge wolf’s head in his lap. “There’ll be others. He was their pack leader.”
“I know,” he whispered, his voice raw in the quiet night air. “Keep watch. I’d like a few moments alone with my husband.”
“Of course, sir,” she murmured, moving away and herding the others in their team into a semi-circle around him, their guns drawn, their trigger fingers poised.
He stroked his hand through the wolf’s pelt. It felt soft beneath his fingers, soft and thick—the same sandy blond as it had been… before. His fingers trailed gently down the velvety snout and fanned around the now glassy green eyes.
Eyes still so bright that they blinded Wade to everything but him.