Disguise

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Magic 8 Ball

“Soulmates?”

“Yeah, soulmates.”

“What are you? Three? I hope you know that Santa Claus is imaginary!” I chided, hoping to embarrass him but it had the opposite effect. Reece huffed in annoyance, staring at me through partial slits.

He was pacing all around the bed, while I was sitting on it cross legged. My head moved to follow him constantly and now it was tiring my neck.

“Can you stop moving?” I spoke in an irritated tone, and he did. He stopped to look at me once more, his hands in his hair as he growled in frustration.

Yikes. Animals.

“I don’t know how you can be so thick headed! All the signs are there you just don’t want to see it!” He started pacing again.

I was sure. Okay, I was pretty sure that Reece had officially lost it.

I mean, soul mates?

That was pushing it.

But these hints he spoke off... They made a part of me hesitate. The sparks for one. Wait, what else was there?

“I have no idea what signs you’re talking about.” I maintained my stand. Plant your feet.

This made him stop again. He then switched directions and stomped over to me. I suppose it was hard wired into his instincts. When someone doesn’t listen or agree - show dominance. Like a weird combination of man and animal.

“No signs?” His words dripped of incredulity as he bent down and his face came closer to mine. I could see his eyes now. They were darkening just like before and a wave of anxiousness and anticipation coursed through me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see ‘The Wolf’ again. He was one scary mammal.

Unable to speak, momentarily, I only nodded. Indicating that I didn’t feel anything.

I mean, nothing out of the ordinary, it was just a regular butterfly tingly feeling is all. Right?

‘I hope in time you believe in these sparks’.

Reece growled once more, causing me to lurch back immediately, my eyes tensing.

“Now you’ve done it.” He said and then his hands curled behind my neck and pulled me forward.

But just before our lips met, he stopped. I could tell by the pressure he was exerting on my neck that this was incredibly hard for him to do.

“You don’t feel this palpable tension? Or the sparks that are running down your spine at my touch? Or the fact that my presence immediately soothes you?” His words were a loud whisper and his breath blew into my face making my head whirl. He then released me and went back to pacing.

“Or the fact that it hurts when you approach another guy?!” He spoke the words with disgust. “And make no mistake - it works both ways! Everything about you pulls me closer to you - your scent, your mind, your body. It’s unmistakable even to the dimmest. A single glance from you is enough to drive me crazy!”

My resolve and assumptions were being called into question.

This theory would explain so much..

“It’s not a theory!” Reece yelled, throwing his hands up in the air.

“Goddess! You’re leaving me no choice!”

I raised an eyebrow at him. Yes, I could do that.

“No choice?”

He stopped pacing yet again to stare at me for a moment in silent contemplation. I knew that whatever he was deciding wasn’t going to be a good thing.

“Nothing, never mind.” He shook his head, muttering to himself.

“Tell me, can you ever go further than basic contact with any male? Doesn’t your body immediately recoil in pain the second that you consider them in a non-friendly way?” As he spoke, his knuckles gripped at the edge of the bed as he sat down again. His words were venom.

Good god he was jealous!

“Reece? You’re going to break the wood.” I whispered, remembering how easily Atticus had snapped that bedpost in half.

Reece shut his eyes tightly and calmed his own breathing. I moved forward to place a soothing hand on his shoulders.

“You know then that I was never with any other man.” I spoke gently, rubbing relaxing circles on his back.

And then I was flipped completely.

Both my hands were pinned above my head and my legs and torso were submerged under his weight. His dark eyes roamed all over me with a sense of approval.

“That’s right. You’re mine.” He whispered deeply, making my insides melt. My hands weren’t struggling against his hold as I let him look wordlessly.

His wolf was on edge and I was beginning to understand his mood swings. A part of me felt giddy at the possibility of Reece being right. Another part though, was terrified.

If his word was true, then what was I? Could he have a human soulmate? He was a King! Didn’t he need a strong Queen?!

The severity of the situation hit me like a train and I pushed him off. Reece moved to lie down besides me as I jolted up.

“I-I think that there is some mistake.” I whimpered, “I can’t be your mate. Surely you’ve gotten it w-wrong.”

In my panic induced state I fumbled with feet.

I swung them shakily across the bed and made a move to get up - not to run away, but just to get up and not feel restless - when a snake wrapped around my waist and pulled me back.

“Don’t doubt the bond, mate. Trust me, I learned that one the hard way. Instincts are everything, especially for us half animals.” He spoke with clarity, his eyes going over mine in an effort to convey the silent message: I was his. He was mine.

I remained frozen, my breath held in my lungs. I was also certain that my heart had stopped.

“Nobody can make you feel what I can, and it works both ways,” he continued. “And you can live in denial, but I am certain that it won’t last long.” he promised, his face inching closer to mine. “These sparks and flutters aren’t fairy tale romances that only exist in books. This is as real as it gets.” One more millimeter and there would be contact. My stomach melted in anticipation. I was struggling to pay attention to him but with our current position there was very little distraction.

My mind started reasoning out his words slowly, trying to focus on what he was saying. His explanations made sense. I did feel that crushing pain when I spoke to other men of interest. But more than logic was this gut feeling, an instinct as he put it, that his words were true. My entire being was yearning for him all this while. How hard had I tried to get over him? Not think of his existence despite how mad I was at him? My heart screamed in realization at his words. I needed him to be around me at all times. His life force was tied to mine. And maybe I dispelled the notion that I needed him because to my practical, human mind it made no sense that I could be tied to one person entirely.

Soul mates. Was this what I was looking for? I had no idea. But at this moment I knew for sure that he was my other half. I needed him in all the ways possible and only he could complete me. Scary.

Don’t think.

And then I raised my head just a little bit and my lips met his. It was a slow kiss. A small peck really that had just extended in time and not in wildness. Reece responded instantly, moving his lips slowly against mine as his hands moved to the sides of my body. How many times had we been in this position before? This kiss wasn’t a teenager fooling around with her boyfriend two years ago. Suddenly, the stakes were so much higher. It wasn’t a normal breakup or a patch up. I was a Queen giving in to her King. There was no alternative or choice for her, she was made to be his. And he wasn’t going to take a no.

A million questions swarmed into my head as my body accepted the reality of this situation. If werewolves can exist, then certainly this was also possible but I held my tongue because right now it didn’t matter. All I wanted was to kiss him and not think of anything else - not the breakup, not him being a werewolf, not in the existence of soulmates. I was kissing the man I had always loved and that was enough for me in this very second - I would deal with the rest of it later.

We continued to take it slow, our moments were teasing and languid. It made me feel like there was no hurry. I had all the time in the world to make or take any decision. At that moment, I think I understood what he was trying to convey - take your time, but please please give me this a chance.

Could I? I knew that I wanted to.

I continued to kiss him slowly, softly, as if I was trying to remember every aspect of him. Reece did not push either, nor did he attempt to make the kiss faster or harder and I thought that that was rather sweet. Even here, he was controlling himself to allow me the space I needed.

We broke apart to breath eventually and his hands moved from squeezing my waist to supporting himself back up. My own ones fell to the sides, leaving his hair messy from their constant wandering. I was breathing harder compared to him, who looked like he could go on like this for hours without breaking a sweat.

He was looking at me with expressive, wide eyes as he made sure that I wouldn’t flip and immediately discard the kiss. A lazy smile made its way up to my face. Maybe this was my confidence or my way of dealing with such insane news but I couldn’t help it and let out a small giggle.

This did nothing to ease his worry. If anything, he seemed to tense slightly more at my giddy mood. “Flora? This is not a joke.” Well, that was a reasonable assumption on his part; I might be laughing because of that, but would I kiss him so easily if I thought it was?

“I know.” I laughed again.

His eyes narrowed and he pursed his lips but did not make a move to get off of me. We lay like that, me smiling and him eyeing me with suspicion. “You don’t believe me.” He concluded, his voice a sigh.

I raised my hands into his hair and looked him straight in the eye. “I believe you. It’s just bizarre. I mean we broke up and now two years later you find out that I’m your soulmate?” I couldn’t keep the wonderment out of my voice.

“It wasn’t exactly like that..” He spoke up, averting his eyes from me for a change.

This stopped my bubbly mood short.

“So you knew all this while, that I was?”

‘Mate, she still bloody smells like that.’ His words on the first night here echoed in my head all over again. “You had a feeling that I was your soulmate and didn’t believe it?” I could hardly keep the incredulity out of my voice. My anger was building up.

Suddenly, his words started making more sense.

‘Stop with this scent now or I swear this time you will not get away!’

‘How are you doing this?’

“Answer me Reece!”

I suddenly understood the meaning behind his apologies. They ran so much deeper than what they seemed. He was apologizing for not just a regular misunderstanding that caused a break up.

“You knew how it would feel to part with your mate and you did it anyway!?” I pushed him up and away from me, and he let me this time. Reece was looking at me again, his eyes silently begging me to relax.

I got off the bed, my entire body shaking with anger. “Do you know how these two years have gone for me?!” My voice was tinged with anger. “Every man I looked at, it hurt. Every few days my chest hurt, every now and then when I thought of you it hurt!”

“I went to a million doctors who couldn’t figure it out! I tried so many things to get you out of my mind! I WENT CRAZY TRYING TO HEAL!” I was completely yelling by this point now, my hands in the air above me. Reece was still sitting on the bed, looking at me with a completely broken expression.

“I can explain-”

“Explain why you kicked me out of your life two years ago when you knew what I was to you?!” I seethed, not believing him for a moment. Reece got up from the bed and moved closer to me but I held out my hand. “Right there is fine.” I commanded and I could see the tormented expression on his face. It hurt me to do this to him, watch him flinch at my words but my own dignity was important to me as well.

“Flora just listen to me-”

“Why should I? Did you give me a chance to explain myself earlier?! I was so confused when one fine day you just told me to get out!” I yelled at him, completely livid. “I didn’t understand a thing back then! I kept wondering again and again what was it that I did wrong!”

“I know, I’m sorry.” He spoke quickly, before I could continue my rant. “You have no idea what I’ve been through since two days ago when you were in my arms and I realized what a colossal mistake I had made!” He spoke with equal vigor, his hands at his sides - showing innocence - as he stepped closer to me. I stepped away yet again, my eyes narrow and trained on him. I was aching now, the severity of his actions hit me hard.

“I have no idea?! Did you have any? I kept thinking that I was crazy to still be hung up over you! That no one had such strong reactions! I tried so much!” My voice was nothing short of an explosion.

His apology came back into my mind:

“I- I know that I have no right to come back, after all this time. I made a mistake that can never be forgiven. I know you don’t want to see me, or even hear about me but I just needed to see you, and tell you that Flora, I am so so sorry.”

“I swear to you, I am not lying. Please try to understand that we made a mistake, I made a mistake. And I now know how grave it was. I know that there is a chance that this is... irreparable but I have to try. I have to fix this.”

He had looked so broken then. I couldn’t understand what pained him so much at that moment but now I did. He wasn’t just guilty he was also in pain, just like me. Did the separation hurt him the same way it affected me?

It better have.

His calm whispering words broke through my inner thoughts. “Flora I swear to you, I had no idea about all this. It was a huge misunderstanding of some sort and I’m still trying to figure out what happened exactly! But I swear if I had known this I would have never let you go!” His words dripped of sincerity but they weren’t enough to ease me out of my pain. He had put me through so much and only now did he realize that it was wrong? What if we had never met again?!

I tried to control my emotions and calm down to look at things from a practical perspective but the waves of pain were drowning me. His arms around me were comforting to a certain degree, but he didn’t speak anymore and just let me weep it out.

His own eyes were moist and I knew that he felt as guilty as he should, but I was mad. If he was going to make this up to me then it would take a lot more than a sorry.

That pile of gifts in my room. I would start with that.

“Flo-”

I raised a finger to his words, cutting him off mid sentence, even though it was rude to do so. It all came down to whether he was sincere or not. If I had to give him a chance then I had to really see that this time it would be different. There had to be no secrets, like before, and he could not cut me off. Reece hesitated as he held his silence, allowing me to think.

To start over? To get the hell out of here? Soul mates for real? Oh my god someone give me a Magic 8 Ball!

Then I looked at him again. His moist green eyes looking back into mine like there was a storm raging in them. His heavy breathing as he waited for me to speak, his tense yet protective body language around me, and his words from the parking lot the day before yesterday. Would he do whatever it took to fix it? His actions these past two days were enough proof of his sincerity, but I knew better than to trust this completely and with a 100% investment.

There was also the question of my wishes. I was very aware of my body leaning into his touch even in light of his massive betrayal to me. My mind was analytical, it knew that he was sincere but it was also cautious. But what won out in the end was my heart.

It was simple really, in the end I knew that I wanted him, and he was sincere. And everyone deserves a second chance. Even if he never gave me one, I had to be the better person or else we would never know what could happen here.

With that I knew what I had to do.

“From now on we set some ground rules.”

His eyes shone brightly as his lips parted in surprise. He couldn’t believe that I was even considering this. I took his silence as my cue to continue.

“No more secrets.” My first and most important condition. He nodded.

“Never again.”

“You have a doubt about me, you first confront me.” He flinched slightly when my tone soured but nodded immediately. I was loving the control that I had for a change.

“I’m still very very mad at you. It is going to take time to earn my trust back.” Reece growled lowly, the noise filled with pain, but nodded anyway.

“I’m going to make it up to you baby. I promise I will never let you go ever again.” He swore, clutching me back to his chest before releasing me again. He waited for me to continue.

“That’s all.”

And then he launched himself back on top of me with renewed enthusiasm like he couldn’t wait to get a taste.

“Oh, and this time, we take things slow.”

His expression was priceless.

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