New Year's was a quiet affair. No wild party, no counting the seconds. They stayed at home, watching TV, and Nick brought him off with a blowjob that had Eddie pant and nearly rip into the couch with extended talons. The Grimm was a really talented that way. Well, not just that way.
When Nick, still seated between his legs, gazing up at him with a wicked smile, continued to fondle and lick his half-hard cock, Eddie let his legs fall open wide. The two fingers sliding up his ass had him groan. This time it took longer, was almost torture, and Nick took a great pleasure from the fact that he could stave off the second orgasm so long.
Yeah, the sex was fantastic. Something he wouldn't have dreamed about in his wildest fantasies. But it wasn't everything. It was the general feeling, the contentedness, the ease of their relationship… all that and so much more had Eddie stick to this one human being, his Grimm, like super-glue. He wouldn't give it up.
Drawing the younger man into a gentle kiss, running broad hands up the slender back and delighting in the feel of smooth skin over firm muscle, Eddie felt his inner wolf rumble, pleased and placated.
Things would get bumpy, he knew. This wasn't all pink clouds and wishful thinking. A Grimm and a blutbad would face opposition, but he couldn't care less about what his family thought. He was related by blood and that was that. They had started to ignore him the moment he had started his strict regimen of control. Nick had two dangerous jobs and while he had a partner for the police business side, as a Grimm he was alone.
Well, mostly. The trusty lupine back-up was now firmly in place.
For better or worse, the humans said.
Eddie thought it was a very appropriate vow for them as well.
xx x x x x x x
Nick was called to a scene of a dead body found in a ditch off the highway a few hours later. He muttered briefly about inconvenient calls and threw on some clothes, then hurried off. Eddie didn't think much of it and went back to sleep.
xx x x x x x x
When Nick returned, it was with a solemn expression. He looked like he had slid down a mud hill and was in no mood to talk. He simply showered, changed, and went back to the precinct.
Eddie waited, able to be so very patient sometimes. Police work was part of Nick and it was a part he had to accept. If his partner wanted to talk about things, he would. If not, he would wait. Simple as that. If it was Grimm-related he would spill his guts to Eddie sooner or later. They always talked about such things because it helped Nick understand the creature world a lot better.
Instead Eddie took a whiff at the shed clothes.
Blood. Death. And… blutbad.
His nose wrinkled, hairs on his neck rising. He growled unconsciously.
Damn! Not again!
xx x x x x x x
The detective was there for dinner, though his mood hadn't improved. Nick was pale, angry, and ready to bite whoever got too close. He ate quickly and silently, taking two phone calls while he was in the kitchen, and Eddie picked up a few words. Apparently Griffin was calling him about an update or two.
Not that it improved Nick's mood.
Eddie removed his presence as best as possible and decided that his own home might be more appropriate for tonight. He knew when it was too dangerous around the Grimm, whether this was Grimm-related or not.
He had learned a great deal about his mate in the past months. One was that the deceptively innocent and soft façade was just that: a façade. Nick might be a rookie when it came to creatures, but he wasn't weak or soft. He was quite dangerous and Eddie respected him immensely. Sometimes he wondered if, in blutbaden terms, Nick would make an alpha. The vibes he got off the man hinted at it. At least the hunter/predator came out strong.
And Eddie found that deliciously attractive.
Well, unless it was aimed at him. He wasn't stupid. Blutbaden knew when things were too dicey; at least the more or less sane ones.
Eddie thought of himself as sane and moved carefully if necessary.
So he went back home, fixed himself a nice soup, and spent the evening tinkering with an ancient clock. Part of his mind was going over what might be bothering Nick. He would find out in time.
xx x x x x x x
Someone knocked at the door while he was doing his morning Pilates. He went through the motions automatically, feeling calm and relaxed like he usually did when working out. Every wieder-blutbad had his or her own way of restricting their instincts, the craving for a kill, the need to chase girls in red. Eddie liked Pilates. Unless morning sex was available. He grinned at that. Yep, that helped, too.
He didn't really have to ask who disturbed his morning routine; he could smell it.
Opening the door he shot the Grimm a scowl. Nick held up a bag of bagels, smiling apologetically. Eddie let him in without another word.
"I'm not your doorman, dude. You have a key," the blutbad grumbled.
Nick didn't answer, simply poured himself a coffee. His face was closed off, but the eyes were, as cheap as it sounded, a window to his soul. And his soul was in turmoil. Eddie waited, hovering near the door, letting Nick set the pace.
He ran his eyes over the other man. Jeans, dark gray long-sleeve tee, boots, leather jacket thrown over the tee. Eddie liked the casual look. He knew he wouldn't be able to pull off the handsome sexy look like that. Nick was simply sex on legs sometimes.
Dragging his mind out of the gutter, he sniffed carefully. Nick smelled unharmed, but something was on his mind.
"It was Mark," the other man said after a while. "The call yesterday."
Eddie waited. His urge was to get closer, touch, reassure himself and Nick. His logical mind said 'sit and stay'.
"He walked onto the highway, right into a Big Rig truck. Lumber haul."
Eddie winced. That would do it. Kill a blutbad straight on.
"The driver said he simply stopped and looked at him. He had no chance to brake in time." Nick rubbed his eyes, gazing out the window. "No foul play. No drugs in his system. Not even alcohol. Suicide."
"Hank and I were at his apartment. There were pictures of his mate everywhere. Her name was Sandra, y'know. Hank's trying to find his folks, but I guess that is harder than we think."
Eddie nodded wordlessly.
Gray eyes finally drifted back from the window to meet the blutbad's. The intensity made him shiver. Something inside him curled and trembled at the powerful expression, at the pain and the strength, at the door this one death had pushed open.
"What is this we have, Eddie?"
And the question. The damned question Eddie had seen in his partner's eyes so often before; one he had never dared to ask. The confusion over their relationship had enveloped them both and while Eddie thought of them as mates, he had never told Nick, nor had he acknowledged it in any other verbal way.
Sure, he had claimed him as a sexual partner. The bite mark was a clear declaration and if Nick had found any information on what tasting a mate's blood meant, he should know. Usually tasting prey meant an immediate rise of aggression that usually ended in torn out hearts and ripped throats. Eddie had never lost a thought about that with Nick. He had only felt the wildfire in his blood, the possessive bastard raising his ugly head, and the need to have the Grimm as his mate.
He opened his mouth, wanting to say it, but the words stuck in his throat.
"You're a blutbad, I'm human," Nick went on, looking into his coffee as if it held all the answers.
Frustration was visible on the pale features. "What does that mean for us, Eddie?" he blurted. He squeezed his eyes shut. "Damn, I sound like a girl! I don't care what this is…"
Liar, Eddie thought immediately.
"But if it'll kill you…"
Eddie crossed the distance, unminding of the possible danger he was putting himself into, and pushed Nick against the wall. Somehow this was developing into a habit, he mused.
"Who you are, Grimm," he said sharply, "is Nick Burckhardt. Mostly a pain in the ass, but also my mate."
"My mate. My Grimm," he claimed. "You are mine alone!"
The gray eyes darkened and the Grimm responded like he had so many times before. A challenge, the refusal to submit, the need to know, and that power that had Eddie in awe. The claim struck a nerve in the hunter, a refusal to be bound to another life, but then there was Nick. And Nick's emotions were intensely powerful. He was wide open, needing to know, afraid of the answer.
"Mine," Eddie repeated more forcefully.
Nick bit his lower lip, arousal gaining in strength. "What I do… whether as a cop or a Grimm, it might get me killed. I don't want you to die."
Because if Eddie claimed him as a mate, like Mark and Sandra had been, the loss of Nick would destroy the blutbad's iron control. It would set free the monster and he would end up dead one day. Killed by a Grimm or the police or whoever shot him in the right place. Or he might end his own life.
"Then don't die."
"That's not so easy."
"It is. Don't die."
Conflicting emotions rolled through those eyes and Eddie brushed a deliberately gentle kiss over Nick's lips.
"My mate. I'm not going to run off after another blutbad, Nick. You're it."
"You don't know that!" came the forceful reply. "You're not meant to be with a human!"
"How would you know?"
"Blutbaden aren't in general attracted to their prey."
"Hm, maybe." Another gentle kiss. "Maybe it's just you. I am with you, Nick Burckhardt. You're mine. My Grimm. I'm with you and will stay with you to the very end." Another kiss. More a nibble. "Female blutbaden are wickedly scary. The kid was lucky to find a young one who didn't maul him on sight."
"Like you could find a female mate one day."
He nuzzled the mark against Nick's shoulder. "No," Eddie breathed. "I made my choice. I'm completely yours. You are mine, Nick."
The Grimm's hands dug into his sides, desperate, needy, the whole body trembling with the confusion the other man felt. Eddie smelled it all, Nick's scent sharp and pained. His fangs briefly pierced the upper layer of skin, the drop of blood filling his nose, the taste on his tongue reinforcing the bond between them.
"Why do you think I could look at you, all bloody and weak, and not take advantage?" the blutbad asked in a low, dark voice. "Several times in the past, actually. Why do you think I let you into my home? Why do you think I didn't go all blutbad on you for wearing that burgundy shirt? Why do you think you gave yourself to a deadly creature that might just rip your heart out? Why do you think I let myself fall completely for a Grimm?"
Nick was silent, studying his feature, expression strangely serious.
"Why do you think you can top?" Eddie added with a sly grin.
It got him a chuckle. "Because you get off on the Grimm thing. And I think a Grimm in dark red is two for the price of one."
"Hm, that too. I get even more off when I think of you under me, at my mercy, writhing in pleasure and begging for more." Eddie ran a sharp talon along the lean side, feeling Nick react. "Mine. Whatever they say, whoever says it, you're my little Grimm."
xx x x x x x x
The sex broke down walls Eddie hadn't been aware had still existed. It was like everything had led up to this, this last claim on a soul he had no right to but took nevertheless. And he let Nick see into his own soul, into the depth of the beast, and he saw the acceptance there.
The wolf freely took what was on offer and if the mattress now had tears, so be it.
Reddish teeth marks showed on Nick's shoulder and the scar would always be there, no matter what. It was a mating scar, deep but not dangerous, in a place where prying eyes wouldn't see it immediately.
His mate, ran through Eddie's head. His Grimm. A Grimm and a blutbad; the impossible.
He couldn't possibly imagine what Mark had felt when his mate had been killed and Eddie knew he wouldn't want to go on alone either. Nick was his life and he would go wherever he went, be it as a cop or a Grimm. Every other creature be damned.
The absolute trust and the unconditional love he saw in his mate's eyes took his breath away. Strong fingers ran over his neck, into his longish hair, playful, sated, lazy.
"I never told you about my family," Eddie murmured.
Nick's caress stopped. "No. And you don't have to."
"Yes, I do. We… this… what we have…" Eddie looked into the warmth reflected in Nick's eyes. "Sooner or later things will surface. Bad things. I want you to know them."
"I told you once… when we first met… well, the second time, actually… after you had me arrested…" He was rambling and Eddie stopped himself. He sat up, refusing to look at Nick. "Okay, I told you I wasn't that kind of blutbad any more. That I was done with the bad. And I did a lot of bad stuff in my past. A lot. Your aunt wouldn't have asked any questions and taken me out right away. Reformed or not."
Nick sat up as well, leaning against the headboard. "I know."
"You know nothing, Nick. You know I was bad. You don't know what I did. And I don't want you to hear it from whoever might have known me back then, or knows someone I knew. I want to tell you myself."
The Grimm's expression was serious, settled, expectant. Nick didn't touch him, just waited, and Eddie was so very, very glad for his mate's sensibilities.
So he began to talk. About his childhood, his family, his wild teenage years, and the bad stuff that soon turned to very bad, nasty, evil and outright vicious.
Nick was silent the whole time, listening, no judgment in his face, no disgust reflecting in it either.
It felt like a whole mountain falling off his shoulder, like the weight of the world. Talking about a past he wasn't proud of any more. A past that was filled with violence and blood and governed by instincts. He had done the blutbaden proud, but not himself. Never himself.
Nick regarded him, those damned eyes. sharp and knowing, the cop in him rivaling the Grimm. Eddie tried not to look away, but in the end he evaded the powerful eyes. If there had ever been any doubt who was really in control, despite Eddie topping Nick nine times out of ten, sometimes every single time, now there was no more. He couldn't hold that gaze without almost immediately trying to roll onto his back and surrender.
"Thanks for being this honest with me," Nick said quietly.
"Like I said, I'm not proud of it. And I didn't want anyone getting to you with the truth."
"You think it would make me love you less?" the Grimm asked, voice so sensible, reasonable, and damnably calm.
Eddie's brain froze at the words. Love? Nick really…?
Nick smiled slightly. "Even knowing that you killed people in the past can't change what I feel, Eddie Monroe."
Nick grinned. "Speechless?"
The Grimm leaned over and kissed his cheek, his nose, then his lips.
"You're a cop!" Eddie blurted. "How can you… how can you rationalize sleeping with a killer?"
"I'm a cop," Nick agreed. "And a Grimm. And I know you, Eddie. I know the man you have become. I didn't know you back then and the crimes you committed… the deaths you caused… while it's painful, I can't but accept it. You're a blutbad. It's part of you and actually part of your nature."
Eddie leaned back, shocked.
"You won't kill again," Nick told him. "Ever."
Unless provoked, Eddie thought. Unless someone threatened or hurt his mate.
"Aunt Marie told me something. Don't doubt yourself. Trust your instincts. She said I have a responsibility I can't ignore, that my heritage is the reason why I became a cop. My ability sets me apart from everyone in the human world and the creature world. I never doubted you, Eddie. Those Grimm instincts told me to trust you. I came to you after seeing what you were, fully aware that you could kill me. You didn't. You didn't betray me to the other blutbad in the woods. You never ever gave me reason for doubt. In any way."
Eddie stared at his mate, mesmerized, caught, trapped… awed.
"I have a responsibility as a Grimm. I have sworn an oath as a cop. What you did falls into my responsibility as a Grimm. And I'm not a judge or jury. I'm your mate. I accept what you did as your mate and as a Grimm." He smiled, caressing Eddie's bearded cheek. "I hunt down the bad ones, Eddie. You're no longer a bad wolf."
The blutbad shivered, seeing the resolve there, hearing the sharp edge bleed through.
Nick kissed him, taking control, showing him what he felt, what Eddie meant. And Eddie wanted to be good, wanted to be a good mate, a good partner, generally good for Nick. Because Nick was the best thing in his life; ever.