For months the guilt of what he had nearly done had eaten away at Stephen, he felt horrible, he wanted, no needed to make things right with Jared. The problem was getting him away from his guard dog and actually getting Jared to give him the time to talk.
He hated ambushing Jared at home like this but he needed to clear the air.
Jared looked like a deer caught in the headlights as he opened the front door to find Stephen standing before him. He hadn’t seen the alpha since that night and he felt that fear creeping back up on him.
Stephen knew he was taking a big risk in coming here but he had to make things right with Jared; he couldn't leave things the way they were. 'Of course, I should have done this when Jensen was around but I knew that I would never have made it a step into the yard before my face was having a date with Jensen's fist.
“I’m sorry Jared. I had no right to force myself on you. I should have respected your no. I let my alpha side get the better of me. What I did was wrong and I don’t expect or deserve your forgiveness but I owed it to you to give you an apology.”
Jared honestly wasn’t sure what he was supposed to say. He knew that Stephen more than likely carried the guilt over his actions, but the question was could he truly forgive Stephen? The other man had hurt him deeply; Jared had never felt so scared as he did that night when Stephen wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“I considered you a friend, Stephen, and if I wasn’t so in love with Jensen then yeah maybe it could have been more. That night you scared me. I had never been afraid of being claimed against my will because I had been protected and cherished all my life by the Ackles family. Until that night it had only been horror stories of omega’s being claimed against their will.”
Every word that came out of Jared’s mouth was slowly killing any hope that Stephen had that they might be able to salvage something out of their relationship and as much as he wanted to ask Jared to stop he knew that he had to hear what Jared had to say.
“I really think that Jensen was going to kill you that night and it scared me.”
Stephen’s ears perked up, he knew that Jared would never be his, but damn it he couldn’t help but hope just a little that Jensen had tarnished himself in Jared’s eyes.
“I didn’t want Jensen to spill blood that night; I didn’t want him to have that on his conscience. It will take me a long time to get over it but I am getting over it. I’m healing. For the longest of times I wouldn’t let anyone but Jensen near me or touch me. But thanks to Jensen’s love and understanding I no longer flinch when others touch me.”
Jared knew that this wasn’t what Stephen wanted to hear and he felt bad for hurting the other man’s feelings he wasn’t about to sugarcoat or downplay what he went through at Stephen’s hands just to spare him.
“I can’t say that I forgive you because I don’t. I also don’t claim to understand what you have gone through or what you were going through in that moment because I don’t. I only remember my own fear in that moment and how grateful I was when Jensen pulled you off of me.”
“I’m not saying it’s not impossible and that someday I might be able to look at you and see my friend, but right now all I see is the alpha who couldn’t understand the word no. So I can’t forgive you, Stephen, not right away but who knows what the future can bring.”
“I understand Jared. It was hard to hear how my actions affected you but I needed to hear that. There is a lot of healing for you to still to do, I can see that. I’m just glad that you had Jensen to help you through it all. I was jealous of Jensen, of your love for him. I fooled myself into thinking that I could make you love me more than you did him. What you and Jensen have is truly special and I could never compete against that. I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope that you and Jensen have a truly long life together.”
Jensen barely had a chance to glance at Jared before his alpha was out in full force as he ripped away the other alpha and slammed him up against the wall. "I thought I told you to stay away from Jared?" Jensen demanded as he stared down Stephen.
“Jensen, he only came here to talk.” Jared should have known that this would be his mate’s response in finding Stephen in their home and honestly he couldn’t blame Jensen for his reaction.
It was taking all of Jensen’s control not to rip Stephen apart; he hadn’t forgiven or forgotten what this man did to his mate.
“Jensen please, this isn’t you.” Jared knew his mate was protective over him but he didn’t want him to shed blood on his behalf.
Taking a deep breath Jensen growled out, “Get out of my sight and stay far away from my mate.”
Stephen knew he was lucky to just get a warning from Jensen; the alpha would have been in his right to rip him apart. “Again Jared, I’m very sorry for the damage I caused.”
Once he was sure the other alpha was gone, Jensen ushered his mate into their house. “Did he hurt you?” Jensen demanded as he checked Jared over for any signs of injury.
“No, he really did just come here to talk.” Jared never felt safer than when Jensen was cradling him against his chest like he was his most precious jewel that needed to be protected.
Jared was sure Jensen could hear his heart pounding in his chest as the older man wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled him in close, so close that Jared could feel the heat pouring off of Jensen's body.
"I don't deserve you."
That was a bold face lie and Jared knew it, but he knew his mate worried that he was too old for Jared. Straddling Jensen's lap, Jared cupped his alpha's hands in his, "Yes you do. You deserve to be loved and there is no one in this world that could possibly love you more than me."
"What about my parents?" Jensen teased as he rested his hands on Jared's thighs he didn't want his boy to fall off and hurt himself.
Jared shrugged his shoulders. "Yeah sure they love you but nowhere near as much as I love you." He knew from experience that being someone parent didn't mean that they actually loved you.
"Hey," Jensen whispered as he lifted one hand to stroke Jared's cheek, knowing full well what was going through his mate's mind. "No one will love you as much as me. I love you beyond words and description."
“I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Jeff had raised you. I wonder if you would have been safer with him.” Jensen admitted.
Jared couldn’t help but wonder where this was coming from. "You do know that you have nothing to worry about; that even though my real dad is here no one will replace you in my heart. I could never love anyone more than I love you." Jared promised Jensen. “No one could protect me better than you have.”
"You missed out on having a real dad; don't you sometimes wonder what it would have been like growing up with Jeff instead of me?"
"I will admit that yes there was a time or two that I did. But I didn't need a dad, I had a Jensen and that is a far better deal." Jared pressed a quick kiss on the corner of Jensen's mouth when his mate looked at him in shock. "Never think I regret the way fate played out, it brought me you and I would relive this life over a thousand times over if it gave me you in the end."
"I love you kitten, even if you are a little corny."
"Hey!" Pouting Jared lightly shoved Jensen away.
"I mean it in a good way, baby," Jensen promised as he gathered Jared close and kissed that pouting pink mouth.
A mischievous look entered Jared's eyes and Jensen prepared himself for whatever Jared had to say, "You do know that are related to Chad now don't you?"
Letting out a groan Jensen let his head fall backwards. "You just had to remind me of that, didn't you?"
Jared grinned up at his mate. "Well you started it, I was just ending it."
Playfully growling Jensen grasped his hips and thrust upwards loving the gasp Jared made. "I'll show you ending it."
Giggling Jared wiggled his eyebrows. "Then what are you waiting for old man? Show me how you end things."
“Gladly.” Jensen purred, pulling Jared down into a kiss.
Happily, Jared melted into his kiss, wondering if Jensen would like the red lacy treat he was wearing underneath his jeans. What could he say he was a naughty kitten when it came to his mate and he loved it when Jensen punished him.
Someday soon Jared knew that he and Jensen were going to have to talk about him going to school or not, but right now Jared wanted to focus on his wonderful mate and their life they were building between them. Nothing could be more perfect than this moment right here in Jensen’s arms.