Hey! This is just a little series of one-shots I thought I'd share with you: little tidbits from characters in subplots in my story Blood or Chocolate. It follows characters like Ulf, Jenny, Bucky, Finn, maybe even Giles! Hope you enjoy! Be forewarned it is label hurt/comfort/romance for a reason. There's a lot more angst than normal. Especially in this particular section.

: ) melissaturkey

p.s. Listen to 'Picture Perfect' by Tyler Hilton while reading this, its not so much the words (though those apply too) but the melody that is really a soundtrack for this chapter.

Part of a Pack

Part 1. Through the Window

The Story of Ulf and Tasha

(recap from BoC)

'…even Ulf had snagged a girl. And not just any girl. Tasha the loup-garou girl that had driven half the men in town mad, the other half horny and still there was a third or so she had tried for, even if she failed. It was through this development that I got my first motherly pang. For Ulf.'

."Do you like Tasha?" The question was so out of the blue I couldn't help but answer honestly.

"I don't know her Ulf…but from what I've heard…"

"Don't believe jack about what you heard, the people who talk about her don't know shit, and I'm not going to ask her if she's playing me. I know she's not. I know her." Where had that determination and courage come from? This was so unlike him.

"Ulf, you've only known her a month how can you-"

"Ulf? Can we leave now?" Tasha was standing in the hallway entrance with glistening eyes that told me she had heard the whole thing.

"Tasha I'm so-" I was cut off again.

"Yes, we're leaving." Ulf went over took the blond girl's hand and led her towards the door before I could say another word.'

Tasha knocked on the window of Ulf's bedroom barely registering how late it was. She was lonely, a loneliness that she knew Ulf shared. This hidden ache that just didn't go away. He would help her as much as she would help him.

Despite her reputation, Tasha had not slept with Ulf yet. They had mostly just talked; about his unfit mother, who in addition to being the worlds biggest bitch also cared more about sleeping with every male in sight more than her own son, and about how despite the reason for her death he still missed and loved her terribly. They talked about other things too: the stuff that made them happy, the things that made them sad, anything, and when they ran out of things to say they held each other, to lend strength and support and anything else they needed.

Ulf knew Tasha understood his loneliness but he didn't know why. She was beautiful; that's what most guys saw when they looked at her and probably all he would have seen if he had met her before Rafe and Astrid died, but now…well now was different. Now he just knew her without even knowing her past. So when she knocked on his bedroom window, he let her in, no questions asked.

"Hey," His voice was low, and sleepy considering the late hour, but he was not he was not nervous. There was not a single jitter in his voice. He was calm around her.

"Hi," She smiled and paused to kiss him. "I'm sorry for coming over so late, I didn't really think about it until just now…I just…just needed to be." It was only then that he noticed the tears in her light brown eyes.

"Hey? Are you okay?" Ulf led her to sit on the edge of the bed.

"Ulf, if I tell you something, will you promise not to tell anyone?" Tasha looked vulnerable, a look that didn't seem to fit her. She always seemed so outwardly confident.

"Of course I won't." Ulf took her hands, they were shaking.

"What is it?"

Tasha took a moment before answering, then she began: "Once there was a little girl. Her mommy was drunk a lot. Everybody knew that, but it was her problem, she was a grown woman, she could make her own decisions. Because nobody cared enough to help her, they never discovered why she drank so much."

Tasha cleared her tear clogged throat, "She drank because her husband beat her. No one thought anything of the bruises because she was an alcoholic, she fell down a lot. Nobody cared. Eventually she drank so much that she couldn't even feel the pain anymore, so her husband had to find a new bunching bag. There was only m-the little girl."

Ulf had long past realized Tasha was talking about herself.

"He-the father, he didn't beat her at the house: they lived next door to the pack leader, he didn't want him to hear. So he took her out into the woods and-" Tasha broke off. "This happened on and off until she was ten and then-"

"It's okay." Ulf murmured encouragement rubbing her back in a soothing motion.

"When I was ten," She gave up pretenses and just spoke, "when I was ten I screamed. I knew Giles was doing a run of the woods and I thought maybe if he saw, he could make him stop. He did make him stop." Even more tears, Ulf didn't know what to do. Every ingrained reaction he had to tears was 'make them go away' but this was an old hurt, something she had to get off her chest. There was nothing he could do.

"That was seven years ago today. After, after it happened, my mom blamed me for dad's death…it didn't matter that he was hurting me…that he would hurt her…she hasn't really talked to me since…. Giles promised he wouldn't say what really happened, and that was okay for awhile. It was better the pack thought he died in a freak accident in the woods, they believed Giles for his word. But after a few years it all kind of bottled up inside me, I couldn't talk about it to anyone, I couldn't even talk to my mom. I craved something and I guess when guys started paying attention to me…I just…" Tasha's eyes pleaded with him to understand.

"I get it." Ulf nodded, leaning in to kiss her forehead. "I get it."

"It never worked though, I was still lonely. I still wanted…something."

All was quiet for a time.

"Why couldn't they just love me? Why did he have to beat her? Why did she drink? Why didn't she do something? Why did he hurt me? Why couldn't I just put it behind me?" Tasha's tear filled voice rose slightly but Ulf didn't care if Gabriel and Vivian woke up and found them. And if they did…well he wasn't going to let them send her home anyway, not when she needed him. It was a weird thought, even to him, nobody had ever needed him before.

"It wasn't your fault." That was her real question, and the only one he could answer. He didn't know why her parents didn't love her enough to do the right things by her, just like he didn't know why his mother ignored him and pushed him aside all his life. "Delvin did the right thing, the thing any pack leader should do when they come across something like that."

"I know, and its what I wanted him to do I think, I just…"

"I understand." Ulf pulled her into a hug. It was like those moments when he had to debate on whether to tell Gabriel and Vivian about his mother, he knew what would happen, knew it was the right thing and yet…

"I know you do." Tasha smiled at him wiping away tears. "Lay with me?"

"Best offer I've had all day." Ulf let out the free laugh he could only share with her and spread out next to her on the bed, wrapping her up against him so she would know he was there.

There was a long comfortable silence where they just sorted out there thoughts.

"You know the worst part?" Tasha said after her tears had stilled and she was calm.

"What?" Ulf asked, though he could guess.

"I miss him- well not him, just-I wasn't ignored when he was alive."

Ulf couldn't stand it any longer. He kissed her.

"What was that for?"

"Sometimes I wonder if we're not the same person." Ulf smiled.

"You know when Vivian was warning you about me and you said you knew me?"

"Yeah?"

"Well I guess I was wondering…how? How did you know? I had never revealed anything deeply personal, you had, but I hadn't." This was a question she'd thought hard about.

"For the same reason I noticed you in the first place-besides the fact that you're incredibly beautiful of course-because I just did. Really simple." Ulf let her laugh though he was dead serious and she knew that. Sometimes you just knew someone. Knew from the moment you saw them they were like you, kindred spirits or whatever it was called, but that's what this was, and they both knew it.

"I love you." It was the first time those words had ever come out of Tasha's mouth, ever in her life. But they did not sound strange and she did not feel uncomfortable and Ulf was not surprised to hear them.

"I love you too."

And that was not something that was going to change.

Aw! The End. There was always a reason why I liked Tasha, I just never had a chance to put her story into BoC. Its sad but it has a happy ending, just like Ulf's story :D

I would love for you to review! Any questions or comments are welcome! I know this is different but I want to see what you thought of it! : ) melissaturkey