Story 542 ~ Zorion & Renato


Renato started choking on his coffee as the familiar wolf jumped down from the trees in front of him. When he had it together Zorion spoke angrily “why is my number blocked? I’ve been trying to call you and it went from you just not picking up to it telling me my number is blocked. How could you do that? You needing space I understand, what I did was out of line but”

“No buts, what you did was out of line period”

“I’m sorry”

“You’re not sorry, you keep pushing me and pushing me. You don’t know when to stop Zorion”

“I just kissed your head…I didn’t even mean to. You don’t realize how hard it is for me not to ever touch you. I mean you wont even hug me despite the fact you hug other people”

“other people don’t call themselves my mate and nobody else has ever kissed my head”

“God damn it Renato youre my mate and I know youre human so you can’t even fathom how hard it is not to hold you…once we find our mate it’s painful if they aren’t with you, it’s the worst sort of torture. I’m so sorry, I wont ever kiss you again. You’ll destroy me if you wont even let me be your friend…itll be worse than being right beside you without being able to touch you. I mean it…don’t do this…please”

“You ask me to forgive you as you take the lords name in vain?” Zorion rubbed his face in sorrow and frustration “god doesn’t exist, at least not the one your psychotic parents would have you believe exists. There is nothing wrong with being gay and as much as you deny it you are gay. I see it, you want me too you just don’t realize it because of all the things they’ve done to you but you are gay and you’re the man I’m supposed to spend my life with. Stop letting those terrible people run your life”

“You just want me to want you. I’m not gay, I’m not”

“look…this isn’t even the fight I want to have with you”

“we can’t be friends alright” Tears almost instantly began cascading down Zorions face and his voice broke as he spoke “Renato…I love you so much…you can’t…please” he got on his knees “I wont kiss you again and I wont curse and I wont talk about your parents” Renato wanted to retort but he was too shocked to. He had known this wolf nearly a year and he was always so happy and upbeat, nothing phased him, even when he repeatedly rejected him. Renato had actually thought he could get rid of him with the simple blocking of his number given the fact he didn’t seem that emotionally invested on if they ended up together. He had kept on asking and trying but since he didn’t seem to ever be hurt by the rejections this reaction now was completely taking him off guard. He could easily find another man so why be so upset over him.



“How I wish you could understand, how I wish you knew the ache of not being able to love the one meant for you. Fate is cruel.” Zorion was sad and angry, his wolf wanted to howl its anguish and also bite into Renato’s parents. It was their fault, they had broken Renato, had turned him into something he could never be. “It’s like I’m dying.”

“That’s stupid.” Zorion’s heart twisted and Renato immediately regretted what he had said. “I’m sorry.”

“So you won’t forgive me then? You won’t let me stay as your friend?”

“I didn’t say that, I…” he sighed, “I forgive you, okay? We can be friends, but you can’t do stuff like that, it’s not okay.”

“I understand.” He stood and wiped at his face, the look of pain never leaving his face even as he smiled and held out his hand. “Friends.”

Renato took his hand and could feel him shaking. Was he truly that upset? “Friends.”

Zorion would show him, he would prove to him how crazy this all was, he would make him see the truth. They were mates and nothing could change that, not his parents and not a god. It was the way things were meant to be and he would do everything in his power to make his see. “I have to tell you one last time, Renato, that I love you more than you can imagine and that will never change.”


“That’s the last time I’ll say it until you ask me to hear it again.” He gave Renato another smile, but it still didn’t light up his face like Renato was used to.


“did you run here?” Renato asked Zorion who nodded, still looking heartbroken though he was obviously trying to perk himself up. Renato was about to offer him a ride home but now had to ask “Zorion…has my rejection always been so hard on you?”

“This time was worse because I felt like I was loseing you all together but yes, it feels like a dagger to the heart every time. I know that sounds over dramatic but it’s true Renato”

“I’m sorry it hurts…you’re a good guy and I wasn’t trying to be a jerk by blocking your number…I honestly thought you’d just move on to another guy” Zorion had already said he’d quit saying it so he just looked into Renatos eyes. The sadness in his face was enough to tell Renato everything and he turned away, unable to look. It hurt to hurt him so much “I’m sorry I blocked your number then.”

“Just unblock it as fast as you can, please”

“I can do it at home. Do you need a ride back to yours?”

“I’d like that if you don’t mind Renato” He could easily go home himself but he wanted more time with his mate. They walked to Renatos car and got in. Zorion didn’t like the feel of seatbelts but he put one on since it bothered Renato when he didn’t. “can we spend time together tomorrow?” Zorion asked and Renato answered “I have a project with my church group, it’s going to take all day”

“I could help right? What is it?”

“we’re going to make some repairs to a closed playground so they can reopen it”

“Thats something I can help with, please”

“alright, they shouldn’t mind you tagging along but please, especially around them, don’t call me your mate”

“I wont use that word anymore. Will you pick me up or should I meet you?”

“I can pick you up, you’re on the way. Can you be ready by seven am though?”

“mhm” Renato glanced over at the wolf beside him, he still looked shattered so Renato sighed “what?” Zorion asked “I just…I dont know”

“you can talk to me about anything”

“It just sucks to hurt you so bad. I didn’t know it would be such a big deal and I feel like a jerk. I know you don’t mean any harm. You just freaked me out is all last time I saw you”

“I know, its why I just gave you a call once or twice a day and quit coming over. I figured you needed your time” The rest of the drive felt awkward but when they arrived where Zorions pack resided Renato made his day and hugged him. He tried not to hug too tightly but he went from feeling his heart crumble into a million pieces to his mate finally letting him hug him. When Renato let go and sat back straight in his chair he said “are we even after me hurting you now? I figured you deserved a hug”

“Thank you so much Renato”




When Zorion got out of the car, Renato noticed there were a few wolves lingering around. One of them approached Zorion with a warm smile and started to speak when Zorion shook his head. The wolf’s mouth closed and he frowned, his eyes moving to Renato. Renato’s heart skipped a beat when he saw a flash of irritation on the wolf’s face and he jumped when Zorion let out a growl that had the wolf backing up. “What was that?” Renato asked.

“That’s Camulus, Cam for short, he’s my Beta, one of my seconds. His mate is the other, but she’s on bed rest. Her pregnancy has been hard.” Zorion said as he rested his arms against the window sill.

“Why did he look at me like that?”

“Do you want the honest answer?”


“It’s due to my emotional state over you. They can feel it, Cam especially and it angers him.” Renato opened his mouth and Zorion held up his hand. “Don’t let it get to you, it’s just the way wolves are, especially when they’re part of a pack.” He reached through the window and patted Renato’s shoulder. “It’s fine, I’ll see you tomorrow.”


“should I call you when I wake up to make sure you’re up?” Zorion smiled “yes, I’d really like that”

“Bye then, I’ll text you as soon as your number isn’t blocked” Zorion watched Renato drive away and wasn’t surprised when Camulus approached him. Zorion looked angrily at his Beta “Cam you need to be more understanding”

“You’ve been understanding for almost a year now”

“You’ve only heard about his parents, you haven’t met them like I have. You haven’t seen him when they are around. I’d bet my life on there’s even more horrible stories from his childhood he’s even yet to admit to me. He needs understanding and time. I push but I stop when I know I need to because I don’t want to make him think his parents are right about people who are gay. I’ve made progress, especially today but no matter the case don’t you dare glare at him ever again. The last thing I want is for him to be nervous coming here”

Camulus was still struggling with anger but said “I’m sorry”

“You’re a good friend and Beta. I also know how hard it must be to watch your own mate be so miserable” Cam sighed “yes, I just want our pup to come so she can get better. I want my leader to be happy too and it’s frustrating. The two people I’m closest to are miserable at the same time”

“well he’s apparently hugging me now and I’m seeing Renato in the morning. He’s letting me help his church group with a project and it’ll take all day”

“That same group his parents belong to?”

“yeah but I don’t think they help with projects like that. They are getting up there in age and are humans”


Camulus sighed. “I promise to try and not let my temper get the best of me again.”

He patted Camulus on the back. “Come on, let’s go check on your mate.”

Renato didn’t know what to think as he drove home. It was shocking how deep Zorion’s feelings really ran, enough to effect those around him on an emotional level. But why him? Why not someone else? He could have someone who was…Renato’s thoughts trailed off on the word gay and he shook his head. He couldn’t think like that, it was wrong. He did his best to keep those thoughts at bay for the rest of the drive, knowing if he went there he would be punished. Once he was home, he took a moment to unblock Zorion’s number and send him a quick text. He was surprised when he responded almost instantly and wondered if he had been actively waiting.


The thought of that made guilt wrench his heart again because his mind could see Zorions heartbroken face as clearly as if he was still in the passenger seat. He sat in the car, unable to get up. He was too confused and far too sad. He decided to do something else Zorion had always wanted of him and it gave him the resolve to get out of the car. Zorion had asked for a picture multiple times that he could keep on his phone but he had always denied him. He would have just taken one right there but he was in worn, paint stained clothes from a completely different church project. From the time he was able to do things with the church his parents had had him in everything possible. His entire life had been nothing but what god wanted of him or his parents interpretation of it.

That was, until Zorion came into his life. He quickly went in, going straight to his room and finding something to wear since he couldn’t even just look through his phone and pick a picture. He had never liked taking pictures of himself. He hadn’t even liked looking at himself since a particularly bad incident when he was seven. He knew he wasn’t gay now, he had only been a confused little boy but his father’s cruel beating and treatment of him for the months after that one mistake had caused him to hate himself. He wasn’t suicidal by any means but he certainly didn’t like himself enough to be taking pictures and his parents thought photography was a vain thing practiced by the ungodly so they didn’t even take pictures of him.

His church felt the same way so the church didn’t take pictures at projects like most churches would so the only way he could do this for Zorion is if he put something on he liked and took the picture tonight He knew he might lose his nerve tomorrow and he still felt like he needed to make up for blocking Zorions number. He eventually settled on something and took a picture of himself. He didn’t like it but he knew he could take a hundred pictures and not like one so he sent it, hoping it might make Zorion happy.

He then hooked his phone to it’s charger and went to shower. He was too nervous for the response so the shower would give him time to build courage to see what his response was. Even when he got out he couldn’t look, not yet. He put on some boxers and pajama pants then knew he couldn’t procrastinate any longer. He dared to lift his phone and open up the new message from Zorion. He had sent a picture back and it made his heart trip over itself within his chest.


He had to ask, “Why are you shirtless?” and his heart was beating hard in his chest as he waited.

“Wrestling.” Zorion wrote back then, “Hold on.” A moment later another picture was sent with him and four kids ranging from age ten to three. They all shared the same eyes and hair so Renato knew they had to be siblings. “One of my pack members came over to give some things to Cam and Neith. The kids wanted to wrestle with uncle Zorion.”

Renato couldn’t get over the big goofy, almost boyish grin on Zorion’s face and the even goofier faces the kids were making. His eyes shone with happiness and Renato swallowed at the sudden burn of tears in his eyes. What was wrong with him? He quickly wiped them away and sent back, “You look happy.”

“They’re a lot of fun. What about you? You dressed up for me didn’t you?”

Renato’s cheeks burned. “No.”

“Liar.” It was strange, but even though he was just reading his words, he could hear that teasing tone in his head. “Either way, you look good. I’m sorry if I look a bit messy.”


He knew he had not twenty four hours ago blocked this mans number but as he looked back at the pictures he found himself wanting to drive back over there right now instead of waiting until the morning. He knew he was welcome anytime, Zorion had made that abundantly clear many times but he couldn’t. He had no excuse to and he didn’t think that would be very fair to Zorion. Now that he fully realized how emotionally invested this wolf was he didn’t want to play with his feelings so he needed a reason to see him, especially in the evening so he kept his wants to himself.

He laid down, tears falling again. He wiped at his face hard, wondering if maybe he just needed some sleep. His dreams were nightmares and though they often were tonight was worse. He dreamt of that little boy he had mistakenly thought he had a crush on and of course, relieved that horrible beating that nearly killed him. He had been too ashamed of himself by the time his parents took him to the hospital so in the dream, once again he went with his parents lies about what happened to him. When he woke with his alarm he was dripping with sweat so he changed his sheets then showered, pulling himself together in there before coming out and getting dressed. He called Zorion to make sure he was up and his wolf answered before the first ring even finished. They talked a few seconds but Renato rushed the call to minimize the chance of him hearing any signs he had been distressed.

He ventured looking at himself in the mirror but quickly looked away. He was a sinner, a constant disappointment with his struggle to be true to the lords wants. He just put his shoes on and grabbed his keys, turning on happy music in the car so Zorion wouldn’t ask him what was wrong. He seemed to always know when he had bad dreams. Rarely, he’d actually divulge one to him but last nights dream was off limits forever so he didn’t want it coming up at all. He wasn’t gay and his mistake as a child would only bring Zorion false hope they could be together.


Zorion was waiting for him on the front porch when he pulled up and he was smiling brightly. Renato could imagine his tail wagging. He approached the car and pulled the door open, but paused halfway in. “What?” Renato said and Zorion moved closer so their noses were nearly touching. “Wh…what’s wrong?”

“Trade places with me.”


“I want to take a detour.”

“But…to where?”

“Do you trust me?”

Renato’s heart skipped a beat and he felt his face heat. “Um…well yeah.”

“Then out, we’re taking a detour and I’m driving.”

“Okay.” He got out and Zorion smiled warmly at him as they passed each other. They got in, Renato buckling up and Zorion pulled away from his house. Renato wasn’t sure what to expect as Zorion drove and he was a little surprised when he pulled into the Baskin Robbins parking lot. “What’s this?”

Zorion reached over and rested a hand on his arm. “Your eyes say you had a bad night and even though I’m sure you won’t talk about it, I thought maybe ice cream would help you feel better.”


He shouldn’t be surprised but he was all the same and it had him just staring into Zorions sweet, truly caring face “no matter how hard I try I can’t fool you huh?” He could say so many things but he promised to stop proclaiming his love all the time so Zorion simply said “lets get that ice cream. I’d love to buy it for you too if you’ll let me”

“Okay, but something small. We need to meet everyone” They got out of the car and got in line to order, soon holding small cones. They sat at a little table, Zorion daring to sit close to his mate. Renato often let him be closer when he had nightmares. “how much longer did you play with those kids after I quit texting?”

“Maybe a half hour. I wanted to be rested for you today”

“Nothing makes you tired though” Zorion smiled “still, you never let me help. I didn’t want to screw up the first chance you gave me”

“Is Camulus’s mate okay?”

“she will be, the great thing about the pack is they have lots of help so she can rest as much as she needs” Renato kept talking, trying not to let there be silence until they were done and able to get back in the car. It didn’t seem like Zorion was going to try and make him explain the dream but he had to be sure it wasn’t going to come up. By the time they arrived where they were supposed to be the two of them were twenty minuets late but the people in charge of the project didn’t seem to mind. “I brought him to help. I hope that’s okay”

“Of course it is, welcome, what’s your name again?”


“Zorion, well, Renato knows what he’s supposed to be doing so just do what he says”


Zorion’s smile was charming, but there was something about it that wasn’t quite genuine to Renato. It was almost like the predator was peeking through, silently baring its teeth, but to his fellow churchgoers, it was just another smile. His eyes only softened and his smile only warmed when he turned his attention back to Renato. “So, what are we doing?”

“Um removing the old wood chips so they can be replaced with sand.”

“Well, hook me up with a shovel and I’ll get to work.”

“Oh, right.” He took Zorion over to one of the trucks and they both grabbed shovels and buckets so they could haul the wood chips to the garbage.

Zorion hummed as they got to work and seemed to be in better spirits even if he was doing manual labor. His humming turned into singing and Renato’s heart danced in his chest. Zorion’s eyes jumped to his face and Renato blushed. “You alright?”

“Yeah, just didn’t realize you could sing is all.”

“I can do a lot of things you didn’t know about. Sing, play a little guitar, helped the pups build a tree house, I have a few skills.” They continued shoveling wood chips until their buckets were full then they took them and dumped them. After a few trips they were both sweating and Zorion pulled his shirt off out of habit and tucked it into his back pocket.

“Uh…” Renato said, his heart hammering in his chest as his mouth dropped open a little. He realized the others had started looking their way and snapped his mouth shut. “Zorion, your shirt.” He said under his breath.


“Your shirt, could you put it back on please?” His eyes flicked to the others and Zorion looked over his shoulder.

“Oh,” he chuckled, “sorry about that, I wasn’t thinking.”


He smiled even as he put it back on. He could sense the affect his shirtless body had on his mate. It always made him feel better when he’d get small reminders that Renato truly was gay, he just had to make him realize it. He had to undo whatever his parents did to make him bury it so deeply within himself. The subway truck arriving signaled it was time for their lunch break. Zorion hoped they would end up sitting on their own but they had no such luck. As soon as they sat down two other people working on the park came to sit with them. “How’ve you been Renato?”


“You were just volunteering at the orphanage yesterday right?”


“You’ve always been the busiest bee of us all. Gods so proud of you, I know it.”

"We don’t do these things for gods praise Leah, we do it because we should for him. This is his work’ The man that had come to sit with them said. It took great restraint and love for Renato not to roll his eyes. He truly couldn’t stand the people in Renatos church but he loved his mate more than these people annoyed him. Zorion shifted, discreetly moving himself so he and Renato were touching. They didn’t seem to notice. Renato didn’t even seem to notice the contact or he simply forgot he was supposed to care so Zorion counted his small blessings. These pests may talk his entire break away but he was eating with his mate and they were sitting so closely their bodies were touching.

When they were all done eating it was back to work. When they left the project for the day Renato said “thank you for coming to help”

“instead of just dropping me off will you come spend time with me? We could play video games or just hangout with the pack”

“I’m sweaty and gross, are you sure?”


Zorion shrugged. “Shower at my place, I mean we’re pretty much the same size so you can borrow some of my clothes.”

“Shower at your place?”

“What, you don’t trust me? I thought we’d made some progress, but I guess not.”

Renato thought he saw a flash of hurt and felt guilt creeping in once again. “I’m sorry, I do trust you, I didn’t mean to imply that I didn’t. Let’s go, a shower and video games sound perfect.”

“You could stay for dinner too if you like, I’m a mean cook.”


“And you’ll finally get to meet Neith.”

“Do you think she’ll want to meet me, I mean…” He frowned. After everything he had unknowingly done to Zorion, how could any of them even want him near their alpha.

“Of course, I talk about you all the time so I’m sure she’s looking forward to it. Be warned, she isn’t afraid to speak her mind.”


“Okay” he could handle harsh words, it was what he was more accustomed to. They drove straight to where Zorion lived with his pack and parked. Renato actually getting out there instead of driving off caught the attention of a few wolves right away but Zorion wordless told them they needed to wait. He wanted his mate to get showered and comfortable before his pack tried to interact with him. First they found him something to change into then Zorion helped him get the water to a comfortable temperature “take your time, there’s no rush at all”

“Okay” He felt like he had said okay a lot on the drive over and now but he was so nervous. Zorion gave him a small, warm smile then left the bathroom. He proceeded to pick up a few things that were out then stepped outside “Guys” he said, in an amused, lightly reprimanding voice. “He’s here, he never stays”

“as I said, I am making progress with him. I don’t want him smothered alright and be nice. He’s a good person, just a conflicted one. I’m going to introduce him to my betas first. I’ll try to get him to hangout with everyone else a little too but I just got him to come over so if he doesn’t want to he doesn’t want to.” They seemed to understand so he went back inside to figure out what he was going to do for dinner. It wasn’t near time yet but he wanted to get an idea in his head. His mate was here, in his home and he didn’t wish to waste any time thinking about dinner when they could be together. When Zorion heard the water shut off he went to his room to fetch himself something to wear then turned on the television to a channel he knew his mate liked so he’d have something to do while he waited.


Zorion’s smile when he finally came down nearly stopped Renato’s heart. Even as messy as he was, he still looked amazing. “Feel better?” Zorion asked.

“Yeah, thanks.” He was incredibly nervous standing there in Zorion’s clothes in his living room.

“Why don’t you come and relax while I get cleaned up then I’ll take you to meet the Betas.”


Zorion chuckled. “Don’t look so nervous, the others are busy outside and Cam is upstairs with Neith so just take a seat, watch some TV and if you get thirsty there’s plenty in the fridge. My home is your home.” He moved closer to Renato since all he was doing was nodding. He reached out slowly and took his hand, guiding him over to the couch. Goosebumps crawled up Renato’s arm and he felt his face heat up. “There, relax.”


“okay” he inwardly kicked himself again for the overuse of the word but he was still too nervous to help it. Zorion left him, planning to be as quick as he could. Renato sat nervously on the couch. He tried to get into what Zorion had thoughtfully turned on for him but he couldn’t so it was a relief when Zorion reentered the living room. “are you ready to meet my Betas? I’d really like you to. All the wolves here are like family to me but its different with an alpha and their betas, we’re closer”

“sure” he answered then said internally thank god you didn’t say okay again He was completely self conscious and confused as to why. He had shown Zorion the door many times and the wolf had repeatedly shown him nothing could make him go anywhere. Renato followed Zorion to a bedroom, waiting there as Zorion knocked. The wolf from yesterday answered the door, his expression friendly this time “is she awake”

“I am, come in, you brought Renato right? We could sense him here” Renato heard a female voice that must have been Neiths. He stepped into the bedroom with Zorion to find a gorgeous woman with beautiful red hair and light blue eyes. Even being rounded with pregnancy and obviously unwell she glowed, putting him at ease with her smile “welcome, Its good you finally came.”

“It’s good to meet you guys”

“we wont bite so stop hiding behind Zorion” Renato moved a bit closer and she spoke again “I better see you here more. It’s not very fair to Zorion that you make him go to your home or out somewhere. He should be able to host you here with us too.” She had this motherly tone but hers, unlike his own mother didn’t scare him though she still made him feel bad “I get that…I’ll come more”

“good, Zorions a really amazing guy. I hope you know that” Her mate took her hand and something went unspoken between them but obviously communicated and she stopped fussing at him. “want to feel my babies” she asked since his attention was on the little feet kicking her stomach. He walked over and mindfully put his hand on her stomach. He had never touched a pregnant womans belly and was afraid of hurting her. It startled him a bit when another kick hit his hand and she laughed. He blushed again and Zorion said “well, I just wanted you all to see eachother really. He’s staying for dinner, please eat with us. I’ll let you know when it’s ready”

“Okay, It was nice to meet you Renato, truly. I want to see a lot more of you” When they were back downstairs he said “I told you she speaks her mind. I hope it didn’t make you uncomfortable though”

“No, I just see again how I’ve been a prick”

“It’s nothing to worry over as long as you come hangout more than just today”

“I will”

“if she really didn’t make you uncomfortable the other wolves would like to meet you too. I wont be hurt if you don’t want to, we can go ahead and play games instead”


“I’d love too, I mean I should right? If I plan on visiting more.”

Zorion smiled warmly, had to keep himself from pulling Renato into his arms. He was obviously still very nervous and self conscious. “You don’t have to.”

“I want to, really.”

“Alright, come with me then.” Renato followed him outside and jumped when he let out a loud whistle. The wolves that had been waiting outside came running over and Renato had to keep himself from backing up. There were adults and pups and they all looked eager to say hello. “Everyone, may I introduce Renato, Renato this is part of my pack.”

“Hey, everyone.” Renato said nervously. They all said their hellos and a few of them started asking questions. It was a little overwhelming, but he answered what he could. One of the younger members tugged on his shirt. He smiled down at the little boy. “Hello.”

“Are you uncle Zorion’s mate?”


“He’s my friend, little one.” Zorion said.

“Oh, can we be friends too?”

“Of course we can.” Renato said.


It touched Renato that he couldn’t see any signs of them not liking him. These were obviously incredibly kind wolves but, they were of course part of Zorions pack. Zorion had such a big heart and was an incredibly fun person to be around. Renato found it hard to imagine he’d let anybody unkind remain in his pack. They ended up staying outside a long time, Renato not even noticing hours pass he was enjoying their company so much. This time with Renato only made him long for them to be together more. He fit in so perfectly with everyone, he truly did. Zorion could tell the members of his pack weren’t just being kind out of respect for him, the genuinely were liking the man they finally got to meet.They could be so happy if Renato would just realize that he was gay and that he did want this relationship too.

He almost felt like prying into his past, pushing Renato to tell him more so they could work through whatever caused him to shut down but he worried doing that might make him leave and not come back. It was only hunger that made Renato check the time “wow” Zorion smiled “want to go in and have dinner?”

“Yeah, I can’t believe it’s after seven” They walked in and Zorion could already smell something cooking. Camulus was in the kitchen “My mate is hungry so I started cooking. It’s cool you lost track of time, we were glad to notice Renato having so much fun”

“let me help form where you are then, what should I do?” Zorion asked and Camulus gave him direction. “Renato, why don’t you go hangout with Neith again while we take care of this” Cam added.

“Um, alright”