• Charismatic || Friendly and outgoing, Ruan loves interacting with people. The phrases "he could charm the birds out of trees" and "he never met a stranger" are applicable to the blonde werewolf, who makes friends with people everywhere he goes. Whether the drive-thru worker at a fast-food window, or a random person in the grocery store checkout line, Ruan will talk to anyone and everyone with enthusiasm and interest.
• Loyal || While it must be earned, once you have Ruan's loyalty, you have it for life. There's nothing he wouldn't do for his pack mates, and they know they can turn to him for support during times of need. He will go out of his way to help a friend and considers his pack family.
• Body Language Expert || A born wolf, Ruan grew up reading the subtle cues expressed in the body language of his pack mates. He learned how to interpret a wide variety of microexpressions, hints that conveyed the hidden emotions contained behind someone's stoic attempt to conceal their true intentions. He's been called intuitive by others because of the uncanny way he seems to pick up on the emotional undertones that most do not see, but he's simply observing the slight shifts in their faces.
• Stubborn || The ambitiousness of his wolf ensures Ruan does not take kindly to being told what to do. The quickest way to instigate a reaction from him is to order rather than ask. In instances such as these, Ruan will dig his heels in and refuse to bend unless forced. He's not afraid to say exactly what he thinks and if this leads to disagreement he will defend his opinion until he is blue in the face.
• Insecure (Sometimes) || Most of Ruan's serious romantic relationships required a degree of secrecy due to the era in which they unfolded. Although pansexual, he has always leaned more toward homoromanticism in matters of the heart. Unfortunately the need to hide his relationships, usually at the behest of the other person involved, helped to foster insecurities. When expected to conceal his affections, Ruan can become irritable, subconsciously concluding that his partner's reluctance to proudly display their relationship is a sign of dissatisfaction with him.
• Borderline OCD || Though never formally diagnosed, Ruan frequently displays characteristics of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A total germaphobe, he is unable to let mess sit, and is quick to jump in and tidy up during pack gatherings. His personal space is always spotless, save for little hints of his mate's presence lying around — an open journal, book, or the occasional tea cup left sitting out. He is working on adjusting to this, but there are still moments where he becomes annoyed by Haidar's lack of concern for keeping things in proper order. Perhaps this is due to his upbringing, as his father did not permit laziness and would often divvy out chores to those sitting idle for too long.
• Dyslexic || When he was growing up, the disorder didn't have a name. Rather, students who struggled to read were dismissed as unintelligent and written off as problem cases. This belief for Ruan was reinforced by his father, who criticized him for not being able to grasp the concept of reading and writing. Though he has learned how to work around it as an adult, Ruan still struggles to read and interpret words at times. In such cases, he relies on his mate to fill in the gaps.
A born risk taker, it seemed only fitting that Ruan would find himself serving in the military. From the time he was able to walk he possessed a fearlessness that baffled (and at times terrified) his immediate family. Whether it was jumping off the roof with skates on, or drinking an entire bottle of hot sauce in response to his brother’s dare, he simply wasn’t afraid to do or try anything, constantly seeking his next thrill. As he grew up, these risks became progressively more dangerous, but Ruan himself mellowed out to some extent. Confident, direct, and decisive, when Ruan sets his mind to something, there is little he can’t or won’t accomplish.
The word “failure” is not in his vocabulary because failure is simply not an option. He has a natural stubborn streak that prevents him from giving up on tasks. As a result, he can be somewhat self-critical if things don’t play out the way he thinks they ought to. While he is prone to exaggerate or overreact at times, he is generally a fun person to be around, and has many friends because of this. In a group setting, he’s often the life of the party, dominating conversations and making others laugh with tall tales harmlessly embellished for entertainment’s sake. He enjoys being the center of attention, but being an ambivert there’s also a more reserved side of him, and the occasional need to retreat from social situations.
He pays close attention to details and is very organized and neat, especially when it comes to his personal space. He hates mess and can often be found cleaning up after untidy packmates with an irritated scowl on his face. When it comes to missions he is a no-nonsense kind of guy who will get into the face of anyone not giving the same amount of regard. To him there is a time and a place for letting loose and it’s important to understand the difference. He likes things done right the first time and doesn’t take kindly to mistakes or excuses when it pertains to the job.
Some argue that he can be quite unforgiving of human error, but Ruan disagrees, for in all other areas he is patient and easygoing. He is a hard-worker and a logical thinker, yet generally optimistic despite what he’s seen and experienced. He observes others with genuine interest, curious about what motivates those around him. He shows affection (both platonic and otherwise) through actions and deeds, freely donating his time to anyone who needs it. When he gives his word, he keeps it, and thus values honesty in others. Above all else, he is unwaveringly loyal to his pack, viewing them more as a family unit because of his own upbringing.
Ruan Lachlan Wilder was born on August 22, 1941 in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Irish migrants who’d fled the old country to make a new life in the Land of Opportunity. Or at least, that was the story they often told. In reality, Caledon and Saoirse Wilder had barely escaped with their lives after his pack discovered their relationship. Among the Wicklow Pack of eastern Ireland, consorting with humans was strictly forbidden, punishable by death if discovered. So when Caledon fell in love with Saoirse, he was given a choice: kill his human lover and the son he’d hidden the existence of for the last five years, or be exiled after watching his pack murder the boy and the woman he loved. Choosing neither, he, his human mate, child, and family, boarded a ship and set sail for the United States. The Wilder Clan, consisting of nine wolves and Ruan’s mortal mother, would settle down in Boston, welcoming him into the world almost a year later.
His youngest brother, Raith, would be right behind him, arriving ten months to the day after his birth. Stuck in the middle, Ruan learned early on that if he wanted attention, sometimes he had to demand it. And demand he did, keeping his poor family on their toes by pushing boundaries and resorting to daredevil antics. Broken limbs and stitches were standard fare throughout his childhood, complicated by the fact that accelerated healing ensured he could not go to the hospital. Rather, it was up to his family to reset bones or sew him up, but neither slowed him down for long. On one particularly horrific occasion, he attempted to stop the blades of the kitchen blender with his fingers after being dared by Rhydian to do so. This little stunt almost cost him his index and middle finger. Often, the claim was made that he was born without the fear gene, his werewolf durability lending itself to the belief that he was indestructible, for better or worse.
Despite his competitive nature, however, Ruan and his brothers got along exceptionally well. Certainly they were rowdy, as all young boys were, but their spats never lasted long, always forgotten after a few well-landed punches — or ten. While they considered it perfectly acceptable to beat the snot out of one another, any outsider stupid enough to mess with one of the Wilder brothers, quickly found themselves dealing with all three. They were like a small gang, finding mischief wherever they went, having fun stirring up trouble. Some of this trouble frequently involved those of the Italian migrant community, as tension between the Irish and Italians in 1950’s Boston was thick. Street brawls were a common occurrence, areas of the city fought over as vehemently as two rival packs might battle for territory, and the Wilder boys were right there in the middle of it, chasing WOPs down with baseball bats if they dared cross onto their turf.
Their father’s job as a truck driver took him away from Boston for weeks at a time. The boys looked forward to these periods, as the atmosphere in the house completely changed. With their mother in charge, things became far more relaxed and they could enjoy being young and reckless. The moment they heard the eighteen wheeler rumbling down the street, however, all three knew to drop what they were doing and look busy. Caledon had his own set of rules and didn’t tolerate idleness. Quick to hand out work to those who didn’t appear to have enough to do, Ruan learned how to avoid Caledon’s perceived punishments by always appearing efficient. Despite this, he and his father’s relationship was always on the tense side. Ruan’s defiant nature clashed directly with Caledon’s instinctual need to be respected as an alpha. He frequently refused to back down until forced to do so, seeming to view submission as an affront to his very identity.
This identity would continue to take shape as he grew up. Around age eleven, Ruan began to realize he was different. While his brothers always seemed to be lusting after one girl or another, he found that gender mattered little to him. In fact, his first notable crush was on a long-time male friend from the neighborhood — Finn McDunham. At age fifteen, despite growing up in a time when same-sex attraction was wholly unacceptable, Ruan mustered up the courage to admit his feelings. He confessed his affections to Finn, once again giving credence to his family’s claims of lacking fear. What he hadn’t dare hope for, however, was the possibility of his feelings being reciprocated. As it turned out, Finn had also carried a secret torch for him, hiding his interest behind a cautious poker face. Over the next couple of years, their relationship would unfold privately, kept hidden with feigned interest in local girls within their community. But it would end in heartbreak. Pressured by family, Finn became engaged to a “good Irish girl” and began planning a summer wedding. Ruan was devastated and enlisted in the military just a few short months later despite disapproval from his family.
He thrived in this environment, excelling in all aspects of his training. While other would-be soldiers broke down, cracking under the pressure, Ruan remained dauntless, rising to every challenge. He received glowing recommendations from all of his superior officers who encouraged him to try out for Special Forces. The training was intense and Ruan watched many try and fail, unable to handle the mental/physical fatigue and stress. He however, doggedly pursued and persevered, determined to reach the goals he set for himself. After passing the SFAS (Special Forces Assessment & Selection Course), he went on to attend the “Q Course” or SFQC (Special Forces Qualifications Course), completing this after six strenuous months. It was through this process that he met Logan, who was brought in to assist with long range riflery training, but he had no way of knowing the role he’d later play in his life. For now, Ruan was focused on becoming the best soldier he could be.
In a pack setting, wolves rely almost entirely on interpreting the body language of their pack mates. Perhaps it is for this reason that Ruan took a specific interest in the study of microexpressions and body language. This would serve him well as an interrogator, both in the military and later on in his career as a police officer. By age twenty-one, he was officially a member of the Green Berets and deployed, arriving in Da Nang, Vietnam on March 8, 1965. The next six years would be consumed by war and violence. Ruan would see too many of his brothers in arms struck down by gorilla warfare. But no loss was as great, or as painful as the loss of Jesse. While he’d entered the military with a battle scarred heart, he’d found love in an unexpected place. Though once again, it would be a relationship that required total secrecy. Not only because of the military’s strict “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, but also because of Jesse’s wife. In 1968, during the Battle of Khe Sanh, their troop was ambushed. Jesse would be cut down by gunfire and Ruan, already carrying another injured soldier away from the fray, would be forced to leave his body where it had fallen. Whether or not Jesse’s choices were made in response to the loneliness of war, is unknown. However, Ruan would consider Jesse the love of his life up until falling for his mate several decades later.
He would mourn this loss while continuing to fight, always believing his country to be a righteous defender of all that was good in the world. What he didn’t expect to find was a secret faction of wolves serving in the same battlezone, led by none other than Logan himself. Had he not come from the family he did, they might’ve gone unnoticed, but their scheduled disappearances just before the full moon betrayed their secret to him at a time when the number of casualties only seemed to rise. He understood what they were doing and why. But more importantly, he wanted in. He approached his former mentor the morning after the full moon, offering himself up to the cause. After being verified by Fenrir Fidelis, he was welcomed into their ranks, eventually earning the callname Rambo.
As the war died down, he fell in love again. This time with a Vietnamese woman named Mai. Though it perhaps began as an effort to fill the void left by Jesse, theirs turned into a whirlwind romance, equal parts passionate and destructive. They fought as often as they made love, pushing each other to the end of their patience. Based on that track record, getting married was probably not the best idea, but Ruan had never done anything in half-measures. When his tour of duty came to an end, he was forced to return to the US, where he began going through the immigration process to bring his wife to the states. But as this endeavour spanned months, his primary communication with Mai through letters sent back and forth, the initial electricity of their relationship began to fade for him. He realized he’d been hasty and instead of continuing his efforts to bring Mai to the states, filed for divorce.
By now the Persian Gulf War was afoot and Ruan, along with his pack brothers, were being shipped out yet again. While deployed for this mission however, his mother would sadly pass away at age seventy-six following a short illness. Ruan was devastated, but unable to return home to Boston during his mission. This would drive a bigger wedge between himself and his father, who would view Ruan’s absence as disrespect to her memory. When he returned to Boston following the war, things were more tense than ever before. Shouting matches between he and Caledon became commonplace and Ruan began to find living under his father’s alphaship and roof intolerable — a fact both males were acutely aware of. It didn’t help that Caledon had begun to recognize Ruan was the only of his sons who could potentially challenge him for his rank and win. Thankfully, Ruan’s active military work and training kept his periods at home short.
Throughout all of his missions and deployments, never once would he question the integrity of the country he served until the War on Terror in 2001. The World Trade Center had been decimated by Afghani terrorists on suicide missions. Hundreds of innocent Americans were killed, yet he’d end up spending the next several years stationed in Iraq, searching for alleged “weapons of mass destruction”. It became abundantly clear about eighteen months into his mission that their goal was not to avenge the wrong that had been done, but rather to obtain the black gold possessed by the small Middle Eastern country. Despite chomping at the bit, eager to go after the real enemy, he would eventually be sent back home. Left jaded by the experience, he opted to retire from the military once and for all. He returned to Boston, taking a job as a police officer and joining SWAT. He used his enhanced senses and interrogation skills for good, expecting this to be his lifelong career, but then the 2007 video leak went viral.
When the police department began requiring blood tests to confirm the identities of their officers, Ruan abruptly quit to prevent his own discovery. He knew his sudden departure from the force was suspicious, but at the time it'd seemed like the only thing he could do to protect his family and himself. Idleness, however, began to take a toll on him. Lacking a cause for the first time in his life, he found himself in a personal and professional rut, depressed and listless until he reached out to Logan. This conversation would result in his recruitment into Apex, the job giving him a renewed sense of purpose and use for his skills. Unfortunately it wouldn't be long before trouble found them all, forcing he and his new pack to assume new identities and go into hiding.
They relocated to New Orleans, dropping off the grid entirely. Ruan Wilder would become Brayden Abrams, a California native working construction to pay the rent. He hated every second of it, the monotony of routine and the necessity to lie wearing down the man who had always strived to live as authentically as possible. His wolf was going stir crazy and on New Year’s Eve 2016, it found an outlet for its aggression. There had always been tension between Ruan and Haidar, his wolf’s inner alpha vehement that he ought to occupy the Iranian’s position in rank. On this particular night, things came to a head between the two, both discreetly excusing themselves from a pack gathering to confront one another outside. Alone in the winter cold, they would scuffle, both attempting to outmaneuver one another to assert their dominance over the other. Pinned beneath the Beta with a broken arm and little hope of winning, Ruan resorted to a shock tactic, kissing the other male spontaneously in hopes of throwing him off his game.
It worked, but the effect was electric. One kiss turned into two then three, until the two rivals became hopelessly tangled up in one another. This would change the foundation of their relationship and set into motion the events that would lead to the marking of one another. Their happiness would be short-lived, however, as only a few months later the pack would be discovered and taken into police custody.
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