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A Different Way to Run

I neither want nor need another fandom but yeah, this fic refused to die.

Title: A Different Way to Run
Fandom: Hemlock Grove
Series: the Happy Ending Verse
Pairings: Peter/Roman
Warnings: Angst, violence, death, blood kink - so canon really.
Word Count: 6412
Disclaimer: If I owned it, Peter and Roman would make out.
Summary: Peter waits for Roman because he has to; there's just no other choice.

Peter takes two steps toward the car before his knees buckle and the teen sprawls in the dirt. It's not the wolf that stops him, not this time, because the beast beneath his skin wants to run and run and never come back. It doesn't understand grief, only pain, and Hemlock Grove is a place of agony.

It's not Peter's Roma side either since running is exactly what they do. That is the lesson Nicolae tried so hard to teach him; the lesson that he should have listened to before giving up his face. That is the lesson of his childhood, the soothing hum of the open road beneath their wheels and a horizon that promised everything.

But this promise holds no joy now; it's as empty as the gaping hole inside him and the sharp memory of Roman's devastated face. So if it's not the wolf and it's not the Romani then it's just Peter who cannot leave this place.

The teen wants to leave; he wants to leave and forget and pretend that the last six months never happened and Letha was no more than a pretty fantasy. He wants to forget that he ever loved her, that there ever was a Vargulf and that his wolf has never been more restless beneath his skin. But forgetting his pain means forgetting Roman and no matter how much Peter might wish otherwise, that's impossible.

“I can't, I can't, I can't,” the werewolf whispers, fingers digging into the dirt beneath him as his mother asks what's wrong.

Peter has no explanation for her, not when he barely understands the truth himself. All he can do is shake his head helplessly, whispering this same mantra of denial as Lynda tries to pull him to his feet. The teen knows that his mother is just worried and his silence isn't helping, but his knees won't cooperate and she's not strong enough to drag him very far. Not when Peter is dead weight, his body refusing to move until Hemlock Grove sets him free.

So instead he waits while his mother leaves without him, promising to call him as soon as she's found somewhere safe. He waits as the sun starts to sink toward the horizon, even as his stomach growls and his knees begin to ache.

He waits for Roman because he has to and just before sunset, the other boy appears.

Roman looks as frantic as Peter has ever seen him, eyes wild and tear tracks on his face. He sprints into the clearing as though hell itself were after him before stumbling to a panting halt in front of Peter and yet he's still the most beautiful thing that the werewolf's ever seen.

The Romani lurches to his feet to meet his friend halfway, every muscle protesting the movement after so long on his knees. But the pain barely registers as Peter buries his face in Roman's neck, the two boys nearly falling as they wrap around each other as tightly as they can.

“I thought you were gone. Your car- I thought you left me. I thought-” Roman's voice cracks into a sob, the sound sending a stab of guilt through the werewolf's chest.

Fuck; I'm an asshole, Peter thinks, hating himself a little more with every muffled cry. He almost abandoned Roman; he almost threw away the only real friend he's ever had because of his own stupid, selfish pain.

But the werewolf has a second chance now; he has a chance to save them both from this fucking town and he's not going to let Roman go again. Because neither of them can stay here and still be happy, he knows it in his balls.

“Come with me. I said you should find a fresh start and I meant it; there's nothing for you here. There's nothing for either of us anymore,” Peter says, his voice trembling slightly at the thought of what they've lost.

He pulls back just far enough to look Roman in the eye and repeat his offer, his friend's acceptance the only thing that matters now. Sure his mother is going to freak and Destiny will never let him hear the end of it, but Peter doesn't care. He'll go it alone if he has to because Roman is worth it; Roman is worth everything.

“Leave? I can't leave? I-” the other teen whispers, staring at the werewolf like the thought has never occurred to him. “Where would we go? I don't know how to do anything.”

“You're Roman fucking Godfrey and I'm a gypsy. We'll figure something out,” Peters retorts and the effort it takes to grin is worth it when Roman barks out a startled laugh.

“I guess I am. And if you're really serious, then I'll go with you,” his friend says, a hesitant smile spreading across his face. Peter loves that expression; he loves seeing Roman without the usual mask of Godfrey arrogance, and he promises himself that he'll be seeing it a lot more after this. “So what's the plan? I turn eighteen in an hour, you know, I'll have enough money to buy you anything.”

“I don't care about your money, asshole,” the werewolf replies and somehow it's much easier to grin this time. “Though, I admit, I wouldn't say no to a fancy meal from time to time.”

“All right, steak dinners and posh hotels rooms until my credit cards run out. That sound good enough for you, Rumancek?” Roman asks as they finally separate. While Peter knows that he should feel embarrassed about the way that they were clutching at each other, all he really wants is the other teen back in his arms again.

But that’s a freak out for another day so the werewolf just claps his friend on the shoulder and says, “That sounds great. You need anything before we blow this town?”

While Peter would prefer to run straight for the city limits, Roman will be facing enough culture shock already without forcing him to leave everything behind. So he grabs the bag that his mother left him and follows the other teen back up the road to his mansion, the building looming more sinisterly than usual in the dim evening light.

It makes the werewolf's hackles rise, the beast baring its teeth in a warning that Peter can't listen to. But with any luck they'll be in and out before anyone notices that they're missing and once Roman is eighteen, his mother won't have any legal right to him.

Which is good because Olivia definitely seems like the type who would have him arrested for kidnapping without a second thought, and the Romani has had more than enough encounters with Hemlock Grove's special brand of justice in the last few months. Honestly, considering the way that the sheriff feels about both Godfreys and Rumanceks at the moment, Peter would really prefer to just avoid confrontation entirely.

But, of course, that's not to be and the pair has barely taken two steps into the mansion's entrance hall when they run into the last person that the werewolf wants to see.

“Darling, I've been waiting for you.” Olivia's words cut through the silence like a weapon, Roman flinching back toward Peter's side as his mother glides down the stairs toward them. Something about the sight is terrifying, this tiny woman who looks so frail and fragile but makes the wolf inside him scream, and the Romani can't help but worry that this will ruin everything.

Because he knows that his friend still loves his mother even though she's spent a lifetime pouring poison in his ears and Peter doesn't know if Roman will be strong enough to leave. His friend needs to be free of Olivia's manipulations as much as he needs to be free of this damn city, but all the werewolf can do is press their shoulders together in solidarity. All he can do is wait for Roman to make his decision and Peter has never been more impressed with his friend's courage than he is when the other boy replies.

“I'm leaving and you can't stop me, mother,” Roman says, his voice steady even though Peter can feel him shaking where their shoulders touch. But Olivia just smiles faintly at her son's announcement and the werewolf is suddenly reminded that Upirs are born not made when the woman speaks.

“Perhaps you are. Perhaps this foolish gypsy has filled your head with tales of escape and adventure until you forgot where you belong. But first, both of you will come with me.”

Her voice is quiet but authoritative and Peter finds himself following after her as she climbs back up the stairs. He doesn’t want to – fuck, he doesn’t want to – but his legs move anyway and Roman is no better off next to him. The two boys share one terrified glance before Olivia’s magic pulls them forward because she didn’t even look into their eyes and if she can control them so easily, then she might be planning anything.

However, despite the terrible possibilities running through the werewolf’s head, Olivia simply leads her guests into the attic, locking the door behind them and then allowing her control to dissolve. Which, of course, just twists the Romani’s nerves even tighter and as soon as Peter can move again, he lurches toward Roman to stand in front of his friend protectively.

Not that Olivia seems remotely threatened by him since she just turns her back on the teens and walks over to a bassinet standing in the center of the room. Peter had been too busy watching her to notice the extra piece of furniture before now and the cradle looks so out of place that the werewolf’s caution is temporarily overwhelmed by curiosity.

There is something very strange going on here, the whole setup putting a bad taste in his mouth, and when Olivia gestures Roman closer, the two of them inch toward the bassinet cautiously. But whatever insanity Peter was expecting to find, he's not prepared for the sight that meets their eyes.

“It's a baby. Where did you get a baby?” Roman asks, eyeing his mother suspiciously.

“This is Letha's daughter. Hers and yours, my darling. Or don't you remember what you did?” Olivia says with that same falsely sweet smile still plastered on her face.

“What are you talking about?” Peter stammers when Roman just stands there gaping and he can smell the sharp acrid tang of his friend’s confusion on the air. Roman couldn't have done what his mother is suggesting; the other teen isn’t always a good person but he had sincerely loved Letha and he would never have hurt her willingly.

Yet the werewolf's refusal to believe Olivia is what finally makes her angry, her expression twisting viciously as she glares down at him. “Roman raped my darling niece, you stupid child. He raped her until she was with child and then he convinced her that it was an angel in order to save himself the guilt. He raped her because I told him to and my dear son has always done everything I asked. So kindly quiet your prattling tongue before I make him do the same to you.”

Peter tries to argue with her but finds that his voice is stolen and with the Romani silenced, Olivia turns her silver gaze on her son instead.


“I didn't... I didn't want to... Oh my God!... I... Letha!” Roman screams, holding his head in his hands. His voice is broken, shattered, and when the other teen drops to his knees and throws up violently, Peter knows that Olivia spoke the truth.

But whatever Roman did to Letha, the werewolf knows their true enemy. It's the woman smiling faintly as her son shatters before her, Olivia who sat in her ivory tower and destroyed two of the people whom Peter loves most in this world.

So he doesn't try to stop the killing rage from washing over him; his vision going red as the wolf stirs beneath his skin. The Romani can't afford to let the wolf out now, not when the transformation leaves him vulnerable, but that doesn't mean he can't draw upon its strength. It's different now that Peter has made his sacrifice, the wolf far closer to the surface than it ever was before, and his fingers curve into claws as he attacks Olivia.

All of the legends say that Upirs are too strong for a werewolf to fight directly, but the Romani is too angry to be cautious and he has surprise on his side. Olivia had forgotten all about him in her glee at Roman’s breakdown so the werewolf manages to slice a bleeding line across her back before she even turns around. After that, things get a little harder since he’s not the only one with claws, but Peter still has speed to his advantage and he moves out of range before his enemy’s blows can land. However, just as the werewolf is gathering himself for another try, Roman finally notices the fight.

“Mother! Peter! Stop!”

And Peter does; he can't help it even though there's no magic in his friend’s voice this time. So in an instant the Romani’s charge turns into a desperate scramble to change direction as Olivia presses her attack. Because of course she didn’t stop when Roman asked and the werewolf can’t quite manage to dodge her blows this time. He almost does, but almost isn’t very comforting as iron fingers wrap around his neck.

She lifts him off the ground like he weighs nothing and no matter how wildly he struggles, the teen can’t break her grip.

“Mother, please. Don't hurt him!” Roman shouts when Peter starts gasping for breath, his legs kicking at the air ineffectually. These Godfreys have always been too damn tall and the werewolf can’t find any leverage to fight off the slow creep of suffocation that’s overtaking him.

“I want you to kill the child, darling. Tonight is your eighteenth birthday and your father isn't the only one who left you a legacy. Kill the child, drink her blood down deep and take your rightful place amongst eternity.”

“What? No! I'm not going to hurt Letha's baby; what I did to her was bad enough,” the other teen refuses, his face twisting like he wants to puke again. Roman’s obviously still reeling from Olivia's revelations and all Peter wants to do is wrap his friend back in his arms again. The werewolf wants to tell him that it's going to be okay and he forgives him, but he doesn't know if Roman would believe a word he says.

“Kill the child or I will kill him,” Olivia says, her fingers tightening around Peter's neck until he’s in agony. She shakes the teen hard enough to rattle his bones when Roman moves to help him, her son jerking to a halt at his friend's silent scream. Then she points her hand toward the bassinet, the moonlight catching on a gleam of silver there.

It's a razor blade, one that Olivia must have placed there for just this purpose, and Roman walks toward it with the stilted footsteps of the mind-controlled. But his mother releases him as soon as he’s close enough to touch the cradle for this last step must be chosen freely to achieve the aim she wants.

“I can't,” Roman whispers, his eyes begging his friend for forgiveness even as he takes the razor blade. “I just can’t do this anymore.”

Peter knows what's coming then because Romani aren't the only ones who can run from their problems and if he had had the air to breathe, he would have begged the other teen to stop. Because this is what Olivia wants, the werewolf realizes with a sudden burst of clarity, this is why she brought us here.

After he recognized Roman’s bloodline, Peter had asked Destiny about the stories and one of the few things that everyone agreed on was that Upirs must die by their own hand. They must die in order to reach their full potential and Olivia must have planned this entire encounter out so carefully. She wants to turn her son into the monster that has always lived beneath his skin and Peter can’t do anything to stop her wish from coming true.

All he can do is watch as Roman slits his own wrists in an attempt to end this madness, Olivia releasing the werewolf once her son has crumpled to the floor. He lies on the floor gasping as the bitch kneels by his friend’s body, staring at Roman’s still form with the fascinated gaze of a serpent watching prey.

Yet the werewolf can't blame her for her fascination because Olivia isn't the only one who can't tear her eyes away. As much as he hates to admit it, the Romani is just as riveted by the transformation taking place before him – Roman’s deathly pallor slowly changing to match his mother’s ivory shade. Now Peter knows how the other teen must have felt whenever he changed into the wolf because this is horrifying and unnatural and absolutely fucking beautiful.

“How do you feel, my darling?” Olivia asks when Roman’s eyes flutter open, the newly born Upir looking up at his mother hazily.

In turn, Olivia seems almost maternal for once as she coos over her child, her expression more open than Peter has ever seen. But while she seems to think that Roman’s transformation makes up for all the pain she’s caused him, the werewolf can smell the rage. He can smell the hate seeping from every pore of his friend’s body and he knows that this will end in pain.

So the Romani stays silent when the Upir leans up to kiss his mother, Olivia melting into the touch without a shred of fear. He stays silent when she jerks in sudden agony and collapses with blood pouring down her face.

There is no regret in Roman’s face when he looks at his mother, his jaw working as he swallows down her tongue.

“You always talked too much, you witch,” the Upir growls, kicking away Olivia’s hand when she tries to reach for him. Peter can’t decide if he’s horrified or impressed by his friend’s actions, though maybe that’s just the wolf howling its triumph inside him. Because the only thing the beast cares about is the fact that its enemy has been defeated and the strength of the Rumancek pack increased.

In contrast, the only thing that Peter cares about is Roman and he’s certain that this unnatural calm can’t last. It’s shock as much as anything and not long after Olivia stops twitching, her son’s expression slowly cracks.

“What did I- What am I?” Roman whispers in abject horror, the teen falling to his knees by the bloody wreck that used to be his mother’s face.

“You're an Upir. I... I could always smell it on you but I hoped... I'm sorry; I should have told you but we're not supposed to interfere,” Peter says softly, looking for the boy he knew in the other's tortured gaze. The Romani knows that he should be running; he should be fleeing this place as fast as his feet can carry him because the newly turned are always hungry and Olivia’s blood would have given him the taste. But Peter has never been sensible where Roman is concerned so he just inches closer with one hand outstretched.

His friend jerks violently when the werewolf touches his shoulder, throwing himself a foot backwards to sprawl out on the floor. But at least he seems to see Peter now, a thread of recognition breaking through the repulsion that had captured him.

“Peter... You should get out of here. I can't – you need to leave,” the Upir pleads and the desperation in his voice makes the Romani’s heart throb painfully. The other teen isn't supposed to sound like that; Roman is supposed to be arrogant and sarcastic and the werewolf would do anything to have that asshole back again. But he's not sure if the Upir even heard his explanation and it would be just like his friend to do something stupid and self-destructive after a shock like this.

“Not without you,” Peter says firmly, reaching out to grab Roman's hand before he can run away. “This doesn't have to change anything so let's just take the baby and get the fuck out of here.”

“What are you talking about? This changes everything,” Roman growls, his eyes glinting dangerously. “Weren't you paying attention during the last ten minutes? I'm a monster, Peter; I can't just run off into the sunset like some twisted fairytale.”

“Like I'm a monster?” the werewolf retorts, tightening his grip on the Upir's hand when Roman tries to pull away.

“You're not a monster!” the other teen protests vehemently. “You’re fucking beautiful and I’m not. I’ve always been ugly underneath the skin and now I know what’s wrong with me. I can feel it, Peter, the hunger and the voices and I don't know what I might do.”

“So feed off me.” Peter doesn't exactly mean to make this offer, but once the words are out there, he doesn't try to take them back. A little bit of blood seems like a small price to pay in order to keep Roman functional and he’s not going to leave his friend or Letha's baby in this place. “I'm a werewolf; I can take it and once we get back to my mother, she has a drug that helps. Olivia used to buy it from her to keep the need at bay.”

“What? No!” the Upir shouts, jerking his hand free from Peter’s to wrap his arms around his chest.

The Romani can tell that the other teen isn't going to give in, not easily anyway, because he's always been too stubborn for his own good where Peter's safety is concerned. But even if his friend will hate him for it later, the werewolf refuses to watch Roman self-destruct when he can stop it so he picks up the bloody razor from the floor and slices a line across his palm.

“You're not taking, I'm offering. Stop being such a fucking martyr and drink this before you pass out again,” Peter says, shoving his bleeding hand toward Roman's face. The Upir manages to resist for a few more seconds but the werewolf can see him breaking and it isn't long before full lips latch onto his cut.

“Sheeit,” the teen groans as his dick goes rock hard instantly. Destiny never mentioned that letting an Upir feed would feel so fucking good, but then again, his cousin was usually trying to convince him that Roman was bad news.

But now he's just beautiful, like some kind of marble statue except for the pink flush of his cheeks, and Peter can't tear his eyes away. He thought about this sometimes, thought about Roman's cock-sucking lips and wondered if the other teen was as large as he was tall. Only it was never serious, he never would have done anything about it, and whatever slim chance there was had disappeared when Letha came along.

Fuck, I was an idiot, Peter thinks, unable to imagine wanting anything more than he wants this. Roman has always had a way of getting under his skin, a way of stealing all of his attention like a burning candle flame, and the teen has finally run out of lies to tell himself.

Even his wolf agrees, the beast prowling beneath his skin with the need to rut and claim and mate, and Peter can't stop a groan from escaping at the thought of fucking his friend into the ground. Or the Upir could fuck him; the Romani isn't feeling very picky at the moment since it's taking all of his self-control to keep from whipping out his dick right now.

He manages to keep his groans to a minimum as Roman drinks, the other teen too focused to notice anything else at all. But eventually Peter’s cut begins to close and his friend becomes more desperate, the Upir’s tongue chasing every stray drop of blood until he just can’t take it anymore.

“Fuck, Roman,” the werewolf moans when the other boy licks a wet trail down his wrist, sharp teeth nipping at the skin. He wants the Upir to bite again with a strength that should scare him, but his doubts are buried by the rush of heat when Roman looks up at him. His pupils are huge, blown dark and wide with hunger, and when the other teen shifts his position, Peter can see that his friend is hard as well.

This is what breaks him, snaps his self-control like fragile bone and make him throw caution to the wind. Because if Roman wants this as much as he does then there's no reason to resist anymore. Well, there's probably plenty of logical reasons why this is a terrible idea, but none of them can hold a candle to the heat beneath his skin.

So the werewolf reaches out to touch Roman, trailing his fingers across those full lips, and his breathe hitches when his friend’s tongue darts out to taste his skin. The Upir takes two fingers into his mouth, hollowing his cheeks obscenely as he swallows Peter down and soon the only thing the Romani can think about is that heat around his cock. But first he has to kiss the other boy so he wraps his free hand around the Upir’s neck and pulls him in.

“Peter, please,” Roman whispers when the teen pauses with their lips barely touching, cold fingers scrabbling for purchase on his hips, and this is the last piece that Peter was waiting for.

His friend’s mouth is blood-smeared and sticky when the werewolf finally surges forward, Roman opening for him easily. It's intoxicating, everything about the Upir is intoxicating and somewhere beneath the haze of pleasure, Peter knows that he won't last.

So he tears at Roman's shirt, ripping the fabric off his shoulders to get at that ivory skin before shoving him down onto his back. The Upir's flesh is cold, almost icy, but he flushes beautifully beneath the werewolf's mouth as Peter marks his claim. Because Peter wants Roman to be his, wants to keep anyone else from ever touching him and the other teen doesn't seem to mind his possessiveness.

Instead Roman just throws his head back to give Peter better access when he digs his teeth into the taut line of his friend’s jaw. Not hard enough to break the skin, not yet, but the Upir moans like he's dying anyway. So the Romani bites down harder, the other teen writhing frantically beneath him as he finally gets his hand on Roman's cock. Sharp nails dig into Peter's back as his friend tries to pull him closer, the desperate moans spilling from Roman's lips threatening to drive the werewolf mad.

“Please, I need you, Peter; please, I'm yours, just touch me,” the Upir begs and Peter can't deny him when his own need runs just as hot. It burns inside him, a feral, wanton thing that he can't hope to control; he simply hopes that he doesn't hurt Roman too badly before he's done.

But his friend doesn't seem to mind the roughness of Peter’s strokes or the way that he’s rutting mindlessly against the Upir’s thigh. Roman just wraps his legs around the werewolf's waist and pulls him in closer until their cocks grind together on every upward thrust. It's so good and yet it's not enough, not when the scent of blood is thick and cloying in Peter’s mouth. The werewolf wants to rip and tear into bleeding flesh, let that sweet taste drip down his throat even as he fucks into Roman properly, and the Upir was wrong when he said that the Romani wasn't a monster just like him.

Only Roman seems to sense the werewolf's sudden hesitation; he senses that the fear of hurting his friend is making him hold back and Roman won't stand for it.

“Do it!” the Upir growls, grabbing Peter's free hand and sinking his teeth into the still seeping cut. He worries it open, tongue lapping down the other teen’s blood until he feels faint with heat and sin.

“Do it!” Roman growls again as he bucks up against the werewolf and Peter has never been able to say no to him. So he bites down hard, flesh tearing beneath his teeth while the beast howls with triumph underneath his skin. The Upir's blood is the best thing he's ever tasted, rich and sweet as copper, and Peter knows that this one taste has ruined him.

All he can do is grind down into Roman frantically, blood spilling out between his lips faster than he can swallow it. The liquid drips down the Upir's neck like a scarlet river and Peter would be worried about hurting his friend if he had the space to think. But there is no thought anymore, just the blood and heat and pleasure, and the werewolf comes in his pants violently when the other teen throws back his head and screams. Seconds later Roman is coming as well, nails scratching deep furrows into Peter's shoulders before he slumps back against the floor.

For a minute the two boys just lie there in a mess of blood and come and tattered clothing, too worn out to even think about saying anything. Instead the werewolf watches in fascination as Roman’s skin knits back together, the evidence of his bite disappearing until there’s only the smear of blood to show that it was there.

He feels good despite his own injuries, more settled than he has since facing off with the Vargulf, and he should probably be more worried that violent sex is enough to appease the beast inside of him. But Peter just feels relieved that the answer is so easy and wonders how soon they can do this again.

While the haze of lust may have subsided for the moment, it’s going to take far more than a frantic one-off to sate the desire running through his veins. It’s going to take a lifetime if the werewolf has anything to say about it and Peter should be terrified by the thought of chaining himself to anyone. But it’s Roman, Roman who has always been so desperate for the other teen to like him, and somehow this just feels inevitable.

This is the only place they could have ended up – it was either this or total separation – and Peter is pretty damn happy about the choice he made.

“Fuck. You have no idea how long I've been wanting to do that,” Roman murmurs, the Upir grinning up at him almost drunkenly.

So the teen has to kiss his friend again; he has to taste that smile in order to hide his tears. Because this is just more evidence of how much Roman cares about him and how close the werewolf came to destroying everything.

“Well, you've got me now,” Peter promises fiercely, “And we're getting out here.”

He pulls the Upir to his feet before going to pick up Letha's daughter, the baby snuffling quietly when he takes her in his arms. But when Peter turns back to Roman, his friend is staring at his mother body, a hint of horror breaking through his fucked-out haze again.

“We can't run, Peter. We can't just leave her here. I killed her and the cops will be all over me for this even if I am the richest Godfrey now. So you need to go without me. Take the baby and run away from here,” the other teen says quietly and if Roman's self-sacrificing tendencies weren't so damn annoying, Peter would find them sweet.

But as it is, the teen has to bite back a growl of frustration, grabbing Roman's jaw and forcing the Upir to look at him.

“I said that I'm not leaving without you and I meant it,” Peter says, his mind racing through everything that his own mother taught to him. “You want to be free of this fucking house? Burn it. Take anything you still want and burn it to the ground. You know the Sheriff won't ask too many questions now.”

Arson will cover their tracks and hopefully protect them from both the law and Olivia. The werewolf doesn't know if the other Upir is actually dead but Destiny always says that fire is one of the great cleansing powers and he won't risk Roman being threatened anymore. Peter won't let anyone hurt his friend or Letha's baby – Roman's baby – even if that means being party to covering up a homicide.

Thankfully the new Upir is still too shell-shocked from the insanity of the day to argue with him since he could end their discussion with one order from those sinful eyes of his. But Roman is drunk on sex and blood and grief and the werewolf is the only thing that's even keeping him upright.

So Peter leads the other teen back to his room and helps him change, tossing his bloodstained clothes in the corner to burn with all the rest. By then Roman is slightly more lucid so the werewolf leaves him there with the baby to pack a few essentials – a change of clothes or two, some heirlooms and all the cash that he can find.

Meanwhile, the Romani heads downstairs to scrounge up the supplies he needs. Sure he could do a decent amount of damage with nothing more than the kitchen stove and a lighter, but the Godfrey mansion needs to burn to the foundation because Peter won’t risk giving Olivia a chance to get out.

He won’t risk leaving behind any evidence that the sheriff can’t ignore and the werewolf finds enough flammable materials in the kitchen alone for him to destroy half the city if he wanted to. Which he kind of does and if Roman weren't counting on him right now, Peter might just try.

But his friend needs him and he needs Roman, the two of them caught in some kind of fucked up co-dependent obsession that Peter prefers not to think about too hard. While it may be completely crazy, it also makes him feel alive and he feels more human now than he has since Letha died. Because the werewolf loves Roman in all of his masochistic glory and he hopes that Olivia burns forever for what she did to him.

The bitch will suffer if Peter has anything to say about it, the teen soaking Olivia’s clothes with cooking oil and gasoline before preparing the rest of the mansion to go up. Then the werewolf returns for Roman and his daughter, discovering to his pleasant surprise that the Upir has packed light.

Maybe this won't be such a difficult adjustment after all, the Romani thinks as they walk downstairs again and he can hardly blame the other teen for wanting nothing when this house holds such unpleasant memories.

Once the other two are free and clear, Peter turns the gas on in the kitchen and then heads back out. He takes the book of matches from his pocket and offers them to Roman, trading them for the baby in his arms. His friend deserves the chance to strike this blow if he wants it, a small concession that might help him sleep better from now on.

“Goodbye, mother. May you rot in hell where you belong,” Roman whispers before striking the first match. He tosses it into the pool of gas just through the doorway, lighting the rest of the matches one by one until the book is gone.

As soon as the last match catches, Peter pulls the Upir back toward his car, wanting to put some distance between them and the mansion before the place explodes. So he settles the baby in the backseat with Roman's brand name duffel bag – and fuck, they're going to have to name her pretty soon – and then gets behind the wheel. The werewolf drives out of range before sticking the car in idle, the two teens looking back to watch the mansion burn.

The Romani waits until the first explosion rocks the house to its foundation before he puts the Jag back into first and it's a shame that they'll probably have to sell this car before too long. But Peter will just have to enjoy it while it lasts and he's preparing to pull out of the driveway when he feels a touch on his arm.

“So, gypsy, where are we headed now?” Roman asks with another one of those sweet smiles when the werewolf turns to him, his friend sprawling against his seat sleepily. Peter wouldn't be surprised if the Upir passes out before they've gone two miles and the rest will be good for him after everything.

Once the other boy is asleep, Peter intends to call his mother and find out where she holed up so that he can plan their trip accordingly. After all, he's going to need some sleep himself before too long and he wants to make sure that Roman has another chance to feed before they have to explain anything. The Upir will need to have his wits about him for that conversation if the werewolf wants to prove that he's not a ticking time bomb, but his friend doesn't need to worry about that right now.

Roman has had enough pain and sorrow for a lifetime in these last few hours and it's the Romani's turn to take care of him for once. So instead of mentioning any of his worries about the future, Peter just leans across the gap and kisses the other teen as gently as he can.

“We're going wherever we want, Roman, because we're fucking free.”