Lazarus was in shock. Everything he'd put his trust in was gone. The image he'd seen in his dreams of him standing by Melissa's side as they watched their children play was shattered.

Bane, on the other hand, was livid. However shocked and hurt Lazarus was feeling, was only amplified for the wolf. He'd seen his human become a new man with her around. Lazarus had accepted him for the first time in their life, and made peace with himself for Gabriel's death. He had killed for Melissa and would have done so again and again if he had to.

And now, in Kito's grasp, Bane snapped and snarled, trying to break free as Melissa got away. Lazarus... Lazarus wasn't bothering to hide that he was crying. Bane felt tears prick his eyes and realised that Lazarus' tears were pushing free. Once Melissa was out of sight, he stopped struggling and Kito warily let go, bending to pick up Lazarus' wedding ring along with the torn clothes.

He tried to get the wolf to move, but it stood, stubbornly waiting. She'll be back, the wolf's thought jumped out at him.

"Only to collect her things," Kito sighed, "or to try and collect them anyway. If any of the pack senses her in the district again, they'll be on her before she can blink."

No, Lazarus whined in Bane's head, making the wolf's icy eyes close, a sharp breeze sending the tears clinging to his fur flying.

"C'mon, you've got kids to look after."

Bane followed morosely as Kito led him back up to the apartment. It seemed almost empty without Melissa there, despite the fact that there were in fact four of them there. Bane padded into the twins' room silently and watched them through the bars of the cot as they clung to each other. Kito stood beside him.

"You've the makings of a fine father, Lazarus. You'll cope."

Apart from the small matter of his alcohol addiction, Bane murmured.

"Don't tell me - he wants a drink right now."


Kito nodded. "He's not having one. Go lie down somewhere and try to sleep."

How can I just sleep, knowing that my life is just one lie after another?! Lazarus shouted, making Bane and Kito both wince. Give me a fucking drink! Bane tried in vain to calm him down before eventually growling at Kito to just give Lazarus what he wanted.

The alpha, however, was more determined.

"You are under my command, Lazarus, you'll do as I say. Now calm the fuck down and stop trying to push your wolf and me away. You do not need alcohol to deal with this." Lazarus tried to meet Kito's eyes defiantly, but the alpha stared him down with ease. The wolf slunk off to the sofa and pulled itself up onto the cushions. His eyes now were dull and quiet. There was no hiding the pain this had caused him.

Kito sat beside him with a small smile. "That's better. Now rest, while I find someone to help you look after your kids, okay?" Lazarus did nothing. He just stared at the wall. Bane murmured a quiet assent that even Lazarus could barely hear. "And don't even consider getting alcohol while I'm gone." He got up and with one final glance at the wolf, he left.

Ten minutes later, Lazarus was getting dressed. Melissa's clothes were alongside his in the wardrobe. He gazed at them a moment. And then he gathered them up and stuck them in the garbage chute. He didn't feel much better about it, but he didn't want to wallow. He'd spent most of his life wallowing over one lover. He wouldn't let himself do that over another. He had responsibilities now, reasons to remain sober.

Of course that resolve lasted about as long as it took to find an off licence. 


The End

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