For the first three months after that, work had me out during the day a lot, mostly supervising the construction of a building I’d designed, which was okay what with all the layers it permitted me to wear and the hard hat shading most of my face. Sometimes I got burnt, but there were plenty of places to hide. We had a few people come and look around our apartment, all of them interested, though aware we weren’t ready to move out yet. I’d found us somewhere, alright, but it was gonna take me some time to get everything sorted out before we could move.
As the time passed, more interest in our apartment came in, all of it duly noted, and Fate was beginning to get a little of his confidence back. He still left me sexually frustrated for the most part, but once in a blue moon I was allowed to play. By that, I mean that we had sex twice over the course of five months. I was mostly buried in my work, doing my best to make sure there was always something in the fridge for Fate, and the heating was on. I wasn’t exactly hard up for money, but there was a bit of a drain on my bank balance lately, so I kinda had to make up for it a little.
Fate was totally obedient, and as he’d requested, I’d gone easy on him when he had a bad day. I did my best to cheer him up and make him happy, but I wasn’t too sure how successful I was at that. I think he was a bit lonely, given all the work I was doing.
He shuffled over, and I greeted him with a smile, only receiving a tiny one in return.
“You okay, gorgeous?” I asked, putting my pencil down as I turned to face him.
"How come we still haven't moved?"
"These things take time,” I told him, pulling him into my lap so I could hug him.
"'Kay,” he muttered, putting his chin on my shoulder.
I cuddled him, "I'm sorry. Work's been really busy lately. I figured it was more important to keep you fed and warm. Did I get it wrong again?" I couldn’t help being a little worried that I was doing what I thought was better and just getting it all horribly wrong. Again.
He shook his head. "M'just lonely, I guess,” he shrugged. I planted a kiss on his cheek.
"You can always go visit Lazarus and Line, y'know? I'll do my best to take more breaks when I can, too.”
“I wouldn't have thought they'd want to see me. And I don't want to get them in trouble," he said. Maybe he was right. I had no idea whether Lazarus wanted to see either of us.
I played with his hair, "It's just a few more months, gorgeous, and then work will let up again and we can focus on moving. Is that okay?" He nodded. “I can take a break now, if you like?”
He kissed my cheek, "It's fine, you have work to do."
"I don't mind," I smiled. I could do with the break anyway.
"It's up to you,” he told me. Needless to say, I spent the next few hours away from the desk.
The next four months went by somehow. I’d missed a few deadlines by a couple days trying to make Fate happy, though I didn’t say anything about it. I was... persuasive enough to convince my boss not to do too much yelling. The project I’d designed was nearly finished, and I was called in again to help them install all the fittings and fixtures and the like. Finishing touches. I even stayed and helped out a little of the manual labour involved in getting it all finished just to hit this particular deadline.
Fate asked me where I was going so much, telling me not to work too hard when I told him it was to do with my job. I nodded, noticing he smelt different. Turned out he’d been going round and meeting the neighbours so he wasn’t so lonely. I felt a little bad about that, actually, but I promised him once this project was finished, I’d be all his again. He told me it was fine, but I wasn’t too sure if he meant it or not.
For a week after the project’s finish, I spent most of my time catching up on sleep and wading through the legal papers involved in renting a place to stay. Fate, on the other hand, spent his time with the neighbours, before I announced that I’d got us a place to stay. I took him to see it, when he agreed, driving him to a place that was admittedly a little remote, far enough in the woods that we had total privacy here, but close enough to town that it wasn’t an inconvenience.
I’d bought this plot of land myself and funded the entire thing from start to finish. It was hard work covering for it all, but I managed it. The floor to ceiling windows on one side of the building were all one way so we wouldn’t scare the living daylights out of walkers that came too close and saw us wandering around butt naked, and as an extra precaution, had a film on them that only birds could see, so they wouldn’t fly into it. I’d done my best to make it sort of fit in with the woodland and look modern and sleek at the same time.
Fate tilted his head at it a little. "This is the project I've been working on for the last ten months," I explained, really fucking hoping that he would like it. I s’pose I’d cope if he didn’t, but I’d put enough effort into designing and helping build the place for him that I’d care.
I nodded. "I designed it with you and your changes in mind. There're no fences so you can run free and do what you like, and the doors in and out of the house are easy enough for you to open in your wolf form," I told him, opening the front door to let him in. He looked around, all curious, sniffing everything. I explained about the windows and how I’d used as much natural material to build the place so that it didn’t stink of concrete and metal, but more... homely, I guess. I preferred the smell, at any rate, and his sense of smell was probably keener than mine.
His nose twitched and he wandered off to explore the place. I waited in the kitchen for him, admiring the view of the woodland outside. It was so much quieter here than in the middle of town. I wouldn’t be woken up at three in the afternoon by people three floors down crashing around out here. Fate returned after a while, a smile on his face.
"I'm happy to sell it on if you don't like it. It's up to you," I told him, just in case.
"It's great,” he told me, still smiling.
"You really like it?" He nodded and I sort of grinned, both relieved and happy that he liked it here. I cuddled him, smiling. “I’m glad you like it,” I said, earning a kiss on the cheek. "I'm sorry I didn't say anything about it; I wanted it to be a surprise,” I nuzzled him, making him hum.
“It’s okay,” he said, kissing my cheek again. I suggested that we stayed here for the night to see how he liked it, since I’d mostly replaced everything we had back at the apartment anyway. I’d even put some pizzas in the freezer for Fate and bought him his favourite cereal for breakfast. There was new cutlery, new crockery, a new bed, a new sofa bed, a flatter, slightly bigger TV with a games console attached in case Fate got bored. I wondered vaguely if I’d missed anything out. I didn’t think I had. The only thing I wanted from the apartment was our clothes and my drawing desk. It was, I hoped, a totally fresh start for both of us, with nothing left to remind Fate of what had happened.