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"He looks happier," Marc said, trying to mask the hurt in his tone.

Where things went wrong, he hadn't been sure. Maybe he was too overbearing or maybe he didn't give the other the attention he deserved. But either way, seeing Cathal wrapped up in someone else's arms and smiling from ear to ear felt like a freight train slamming into him.

It was why he messaged an SOS to Bryant and met him at the usual spot. He was hunched over his drink as he recollected it to his friend, chomping down onto his lip to keep his emotions in check. It wasn't like he wanted to look like a weak thing in public.

"I'm sorry," Bryant said. "Someone thought they saw him out with someone the other night but we didn't want you to get worked up..."

"I'm fine." Lying about it came easy; it was convincing himself of it that was hard. "I just didn't expect it." A sigh and Marc added with a half hearted laugh, "Fuck, is it weird if I'd feel better if he'd be with some chick?"

Bryant gave a soft chuckle and patted Marc's shoulder. "Humor's a good step. And next round's mine."

---


He felt the buzz, worked it up as much as he could before he knew the healing would snatch the feeling away. Bryant saw him home and waved goodbye from the front door.

Marc sucked in a breath, hating the empty feeling of the house and slid down the wall of the hallway to sit. Arms draped over his knees and he stared pitifully at the floor. It was better than looking at the rooms in front of him.

Every piece of furniture had a memory attached, every room still littered with his scent which only made the wolf inside keen miserably and send Marc farther into being depressed.

He sucked in a breath, forehead leaning against his arms and muttered, "Fuck it." It wasn't like he'd get any kind of sleep if he moved to a bed he hadn't slept in for the past few days, or the guest room that the other had stayed in a few times before they'd ever been a thing.

Marc shifted and got as comfortable as he could against the hardwood floor and shut his eyes to try and steal a few hours of sleep.

---


He woke up to his phone chirping loudly, groaning because he'd actually managed to sleep more than he had lately. Marc didn't bother to look at it, flicking the screen and raising it to his ear. "What?" he grumbled.

"Jaysus, if yer gonna be like tha..."

As soon as he heard the other's voice, his stomach dropped. "No, Cath, wait. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to... I just woke up and...well, you know."

"S'the firs' time I ever 'eard ye say those words," Cath quipped.

"Which?" He sat up better, trying to ignore the awful feeling in his neck from sleeping on the hard floor.

"Tha' yer sorry."

Marc went quiet. Maybe that was where he went wrong. Yelling at the Beta too many times and not apologizing. It made some sense. Especially after the last time they'd talked - though, it was shouting and Marc did most of it.

He heard the other clear his throat on the other end of the call before saying, "I found tha' book ye were lookin' for. Ye want me t'bring it over?"

It felt like he was in a split universe, detached. Marc hadn't expected this from Cathal. But then, he did look to be doing better than Marc was. Surely he was dealing with it better.

"Marc?"

Hearing Cath say his name snapped him from his trance and had him sighing. Marc pinched the bridge of his nose, frowning and said, "Yeah. I'm home. Not going anywhere."

"Righ'. I'll be over before dark then."

He figured that was all that needed to be said and Marc knew the call was going to be over so he quickly said, "I really am. Sorry. For everything and anything." A shaky exhale and he didn't hear a response, half worried that Cath already hung up.

But the little breaths he picked up once he honed in better had him knowing otherwise.

"I'll see ya later," Cath finally said before Marc heard a click of the call ending.

---


At least Marc was smart enough to pick himself up from the ground, to clean up and make himself look better than he felt. Only by a little bit, though.

A knock on his door came and had him sprinting down the stairs to open it. He tried a smile at the green haired male standing there, only to get a hard object thrown at his head.

"Ow!" Marc grumbled, not able to duck quick enough. He stumbled back a few steps and looked down to see it was the book that Cathal was there to drop off.

But as soon as he looked up, Cath was lunging at him. At first he was worried a fight was coming, but lips were on his. Rough and teeth mixing to bite.

He had absolutely no idea what was going on.

A sound of confusion and Cath drew back, sighing and shaking his head as he gripped Marc's shirt tighter between fingers. "S'all ye had t'say, ye shite. S'all I wanted ta 'ear ever."

"But..." Okay, he pinched himself as discreetly as he could to rule out that theory before speaking again. "I saw you with someone else last night."

"With Ken. Tryin' t'cheer me up." He pulled a disgusted expression, giving his head a shake. "Gross. 'e's not me type."

Marc blinked. "So I just...have to start saying sorry?"

"No, ye gotta quit bein' so grumpy and takin' it out on me. S'not fair." He jostled Marc once, giving a pointed look. "An own up ta yer fits."

Swallowing, he nodded quickly. "Okay. I'll do that. Just hit sense into me, you know that works better." Cracking half of a smile, Marc raised a hand to the back of the Beta's neck and drew him close for a bruising kiss.
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Bellatrix Kale

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