Disguise

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Like Tongue on Ice

If it weren’t for his one hand holding the side of my face, and the other one around my neck, I was sure to have catapulted off the bed. Desire was burning through me - in a ‘let me be ashes I don’t care’ kind of way. I remembered exactly how he tasted - like the blaze and warmth of the forest. I couldn’t ever forget this feeling - the one only he seemed to bring out in me. My hands were frozen to my sides but my lips seemed to have a mind of their own. They moved, ever so slowly against his but it was enough to keep him there. Even if this intensity would make me faint, I would be kissing him until the last of my consciousness.

And then he pulled away, all too soon. My heart yearned for him with twice as much power than before, he’d set something loose in me. He slowly distanced himself, to allow me breathing space as my mind caught up to what happened, but he didn’t move very far away.

It was amazing. Even this small kiss of possessiveness made my stomach churn, and my mind launch into space. How could one kiss feel so ridiculously good?! I wanted more, I realized. My body leaned forward on it’s own, my eyes shut, and I was aching to feel the fireworks that he had sparked. But Reece seemed to have suddenly grown a conscience because he didn’t move forward to meet me halfway. Instead, he turned my head slightly and gave me a small peck on my cheek.

That broke me out of the spell and my hand immediately cupped that tingling skin. I opened my eyes to find him staring at me like I was treasure, his eyes held an emotion I didn’t have the guts to describe.

Because surely he couldn’t love me! He broke up with me! Not to mention that he wasn’t human!

My face turned a shade of beetroot as I realized that not only had I responded to him, I’d also leaned forward later. I had no sense of self restraint! Or self respect! He was supposed to be a thing of the past. Done and dusted! Why did I continuously land myself in these unjustifiable situations?

Reece anticipated my flight a second before I did and his hand clamped around my shoulder once again. I didn’t dare look up to meet his eyes as I struggled to get out of his hold. How many times had I tried this? By now I should know that I was no match for his strength. Somewhere in the back of my mind it registered that their insane strength came from their werewolf genes. I wasn’t weak by human standards, they were just not included in them.

I really needed to keep my heart in check! This is getting out of control! I should have pushed him away the second his lips were on mine! Aaaahh!! Why couldn’t I just not be under his spell for one freaking minute?!

I was getting tired of fighting him on so many fronts - emotionally, physically, supernaturally! Was there any version of this story where I came out on top?! My dirty mind snickered. I was still trying to comprehend my wanton behavior, while simultaneously trying to come up with ways to get out of there when Reece decided to speak up.

“Flora, look at me.” Why did people need eye contact for a conversation? It was really unnecessary, in my personal opinion. And I decided to stick to it.

“Flora, Mate. I need you to look up.”

Oh so I was ‘mate’ now? What was next? A ‘howdy partner?’ Anger bubbled inside me. He was the one who initiated it! Why should I feel embarrassed?!

“I need to talk to you about something important. Please, stop struggling?” he tried again, but I continued to hide my gaze from him as I wrestled with his hand.

“Fine, but I did try to do it the polite way.” Huh? What so he’s- AAAAH!!!

The next second an arm snaked around my waist and pulled me towards his chest. My eyes widened in alarm and I turned to look at him mid movement - like the slow motion scene of a movie - as he then turned us over and pushed me down as easily as if I were a doll. It all happened so fast! One second I still had some ground, and the next I was lying down - pinned under the gorgeous body of my ex boyfriend.

“What do you think you’re doing?!” I yelled at him, slightly out of breath. It was hard to breathe with him lying right on top of me, and it wasn’t because of his weight. I knew he wasn’t putting all his weight on me because if he was then I’d definitely stop breathing. I tried to muster some anger at his manhandling but even I knew that the tingles radiating from the contact points were more than delicious. They were enough to make me put down my weapons and just stare at him from below. Those sharp green eyes, that finely chiseled jaw, the straight nose...

“Getting your attention.” He replied smoothly, he had clearly had enough of me ignoring him.

“Why do your eyes change color?” I blurted out suddenly, finding myself lost in the darker shades of green, knowing that this wasn’t a trick of the light. He paused, probably trying to understand if I’d lost my mind, before deciding to answer me.

“It means that my wolf is close to the surface, he’s trying to push for control.”

“Why don’t you give it to him?” My question was innocent. I was still lost in his eyes, mesmerized by the constantly conflicting shades. It made sense, it was an animal and it needed to be let out from time to time.

“Sweetheart, if I did right now, you wouldn’t be a virgin.”

He realized a moment too late that his answer was probably the wrong thing to say. I shivered under him, too shocked to respond to that unfiltered statement. Did he just say that?! What in the world is going on?! I really needed to stop drooling and get away from him!

“And squirming like that is not really helping.”

Gaaaahh! What was wrong with this man!?!

“Get off me!!” I squealed, unable to decide if I was horrified or awkward. Why were men so direct?!

“Do you promise to listen to me?” He spoke like he was a parent talking to a child. I bit back my snarky response and nodded my head in urgency.

“Yes! Now get off! You weigh like a ton!” I snarled, trying not to hyperventilate. As soon as he got off me I was going to be dust.

“And you better not think of running, love.” He warned, like he had just read my mind. My stunned expression made him smirk wider, he was clearly enjoying our position a lot more than he should be! “I promise I’m faster than you.” Darn it stupid werewolf genes!

“Fine! Fine! Now honestly! I don’t need cracked ribs!” I yelled dramatically, even though we both knew he was putting no weight on me at all.

He moved away, crawling back to sit on the edge of the bed, watching me the whole time. I hastily sat up, avoiding looking at him yet again, as I tried to get my bearings. He was almost sleeping on me! How the heck did he think that that was okay?

“You’re still not looking at me. Would you like to have another go?” He threatened and I begrudgingly looked up to meet his eyes. They were back to their forest green again, dense but light. I was glad to see the control he had on his wolf.

“What did you mean by that?! What do you think is going on here! I am not a virgin!” I yelled, hoping to shove away some of my embarrassment. How can he go around making such statements! I felt my cheeks turn red again as I looked at him crossly. He was looking at me carefully, taking in my outburst.

“I’ve offended you.” He noted, still trying to understand what had happened. Of course he offended me! He basically made it seem like I I hadn’t gotten over him and been with another man! A woman had to have some pride! Even if he was spot on.

“Flora, please try to understand, I am very happy that you haven’t -”

“If you complete that sentence, I will scream.” I warned him, the tips of my ears were turning red. Was I really discussing my sex life with my ex-boyfriend? Who the hell did he think he was? Assuming that I was going to be hung up on him all this while?! Even if it was true, he didn’t need to know that!

“Flora! You don’t understand-”

“I understand that you clearly think highly of yourself! What did you imagine? That I’d be pining over you all this time?!” Yes. “I will have you know that that is not the case! I have dated after we broke up and I am not a virgin.” I was lying through my teeth, I knew that. But somehow, my flustered self would not let him have the satisfaction of knowing what he did to me. What he still did to me. God, why did I have to kiss him back?!

I was fuming when I finished speaking and he sat opposite me, his mouth open wide. Ha! That’ll teach him to come down a few pegs. He looked at me some more and I glared at him in return. I was beyond hyperventilating now. Where had all this come from? Pent up feelings of two years, I imagined. Reece put his hands through his hair, no doubt trying to understand where it all went wrong in this conversation.

I didn’t even feel guilty about lying. Sure, I was proud, I couldn’t admit to him that I still hadn’t gotten over him. But in all fairness when someone casts you away like you were nothing, you don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing that they still own your heart!

And then Reece let out a small, derisive laugh, immediately catching my attention. Oh, he wanted to go another round, did he? My anger rose yet again. What was this guy playing at?

“I’m sorry.” His words stopped me short. There was so much open to pinpoint.

“What for? Attacking me the first night? Trying to corner me the second? Getting way too close in the pool yesterday? Handcuffing me to the bed after that-”

“For not believing you two years ago.” He spoke up, his voice getting louder. Did he just..Oh my god, I cannot deal with this right now!

“I have to get out of here” I muttered, too worked up to reply.

“Why? So you can run again?” He challenged a little more loudly now, appealing to my pride.

“That’s not-”

“What you’re doing? Oh sure.” He mocked, sounding suddenly darker. Reece got up and walked to the door. I thought he was going to walk out, but instead he bolted it. My heart was in my mouth.

“I’m definitely faster than you but just in case.”

“What do you think you are doing?!” I tried to disguise my panic as anger, getting up from the bed myself, just near the wall. “You can’t keep me here.” I continued, but I didn’t move closer to the door, where he stood. Reece’s eyes were blazing now.

“We are going to have this conversation now - it’s high time. You can’t keep running from the bond!” He walked closer to me now, to the side of the bed. I didn’t shrink back this time. Determined to stand my ground.

What was he going on about? Had he completely lost his marbles?

“What bond?!”

“The one you feel every time you are with me! Every time we touch! Every time we kiss! And don’t you dare deny it Flora because I know you do.” he thundered. Oh, I definitely didn’t want to edge him on right now. But when did I listen to myself?

“I have no idea what you’re talking about!” I yelled back, my hands in the air trying to portray my frustration. He was just aiming in the dark, right? He couldn’t possibly know exactly how he made me feel! This was crazy!

But then I made the mistake of looking straight into his eyes, defiantly, and then watched in horror as they slowly turned black.

I was screwed.

He took one large stride and stood right in front of me, his face all in mine. “You will admit to it.” His voice was dark with hints of desperation. It wasn’t his voice. It wasn’t his posture. This man standing before me was not Reece, but someone else. Unbridled wave of fear coursed through me at this supernatural activity.

Good lord, this was the wolf!

“You’re scaring me.” I admitted, my voice was a mere whisper. There, that was an admission. Reece’s eyes met mine and then something surprising happened. He stepped back, breathing heavily. He was trying to calm himself down. After a minute of silence he looked up again, his eyes were still black, but his stance had changed. He was more receptive now. I eyed him wordlessly, waiting for him to make a move.

“I understand that you’re confused right now. You don’t want to be vulnerable because you can’t understand what is going on. But trust me when I say this, Reece and I will never let anyone, or anything hurt you ever again, and that includes ourselves.” His words were comforting. He even stepped back just a little further and I let out a breath that I had been holding.

“You are not Reece.” I whispered, filled with anticipation and anxiousness. He only nodded.

“Do not be scared of us. We are only trying to make you see.” He continued speaking.

“See what?”

“That you are destined - to belong to us.”

“WHAT?!”

He stepped forward and put both his hands on my sides, caging me in. I let out a little squeak.

“Do not run from this, Flora Lori. It will serve you no purpose. I ache for you, just as Reece does. Just as you do for us.” He waited for me to deny it this time, but I held my tongue. I was too mystified to even come up with a coherent reply.

He raised his right hand and touched the side of my cheek - making shocks erupt at the contact. “The human was scaring you. So was I. We apologize, our Queen. I hope that when the time comes, you believe in these sparks.” He continued in my silence. I couldn’t move. I was staring at him with wide eyes, but at the same time, his touch was comforting me. It was getting my heart rate down to normal levels. He then stepped back and looked up at me with honest, sad eyes. But they were also hopeful.

“I wish that Reece had listened to me two years ago. Perhaps then, you would have been a lot more accepting.” He sounded so morose, it made my heart ache for him. “We will always be here for you. No matter how long it takes. Our mistakes are grave, and we deserve whatever you decide for us.”

And then Reece was back again. He didn’t seem disoriented, which led me to believe that he knew everything that had happened just now. I still stood there, frozen, stuck to the wall like tongue on ice. Reece raised his one hand to his hair, pulling through it in frustration. He gave me one assessing look before he swooped forward and caught me as I fell. My legs had turned to jelly.

I didn’t protest when he gently lifted me up and set me down on the bed next to us. Reece was always taking care of me, I could see that. And I couldn’t give him a single chance to speak? And then I found my voice.

“So, you wanted to talk?”

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