Disguise

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Trials of the Fair

I didn’t get introduced to them. The second Brianna was out of the room all the supernaturals present there began to fawn over the poor, tired, hungover human girl and unanimously decided to put her to bed.

No, I didn’t get a say in it.

I thought it was rather rude to not introduce myself but Reece assured me that it would be fine if I met them in the morning. We had reached the lobby of our basement room, level three. The first thing I did was check on Xena. I found her sleeping comfortably, still in the same clothes but her heels had been taken off. If someone had changed her she would have flipped about it for sure. She would stomp around all morning in a bitter mood.

Her blonde hair was spread across the pillow, making her look somewhat angelic. Her dress had ridden up a little and I could see the ugly scar that she always hid from everybody. My mood soured at the thought of it. Xena had had a string of crazy boyfriends who somehow always turned out to be bad for her. From possessive as hell to straight out physical and violent, she had tasted them all. Will, of them all was the worst - and the reason for that scar. I shuddered at the thought of that evening when she called me in terror, crying over the phone. He made the mistake of assuming that Xena was the meek girl who would stay quiet. Well, he shouldn’t have dated a budding journalist. I was so glad that he was out of our lives now.

Bastard.

Shaking away all those reminiscing thoughts I moved closer to her sleeping form and pulled the blanket over her. I took off her earrings and her necklace and placed them on the bedside table and then took her phone and placed it further away - I had heard that the radiation was not good for you.

Reece stood patiently outside the door, not making a sound as he waited for me. Everything that happened today was overwhelming (which seemed to be the new norm). I had magically healed, picked up my best friend and introduced her to a group of royal werewolves, gone out to party with them and then came back to a whole new chapter of drama.

There were so many questions running in my head that I was exhausted. I made a mental list, refraining from typing it down to remember. I’d ask Reece about it now. I was pushing these things way past their due date and hopefully he wouldn’t look at the time and shake his head.

I stepped out of Xena’s room and we moved to mine. A part of me felt shadowed. He didn’t need to come drop me all the way here - but it would certainly give me a window to ask him everything I needed. But first things first.

“I need to get changed.” I told him and he nodded, a small smirk on his face. “Are you too drunk to manage it yourself? Because I can be of excellent help.” He drew out and I gave him a laugh. Well if he thinks he’s the only one who can tease..

“Oh no, most of this is easy, it’s only my bra clasp. It’s so difficult to unhook sometimes.” I swear I saw his eyes turn black as I locked the door behind me. Men, so easy.

I emerged ten minutes later, quickly showered, brushed, and in my pajamas and a messy bun over my head. Ah, life was so comfortable in loose clothes and bare feet. Reece eyed me with an interested expression, his eyes shifting slightly lower and I smirked. He was still thinking about it. He sat on the edge of my bed, leaning behind on both of his hands and was staring at me unashamedly. I saw that he had changed as well, ditching the shirt and pants for a more comfortable attire.

But no time for play; “We need to talk.” I told him, giving him the most cliche line in the history of cliche lines. He looked away from me, his mischievous face morphing into a hard one and I knew that he didn’t want to talk about anything right now. The sharp planes of his cheeks turned sharper as he clenched his jaw. Could he be troubled about something more as well? I watched him for a moment from where I was. His bottomless green eyes and the sharp nose with the high cheekbones - he was truly handsome, gorgeous even. It helped that it was attached to that wet dream of a face and an even hotter body, unrestrained and powerful - even his neck could be described as muscular!

Focus! My mind shouted, while simultaneously eyeing his messy, dark hair.

“Reece.” I said again, trying to enforce the talk on both him and my heart.

“I know.” He said again, his tone stressed. He turned his face back to mine and for a flash of a second I noticed the exhaustion in his eyes. It made something in me break. Without a moment’s hesitation I walked straight up to him and threw my arms around his, nearly toppling him over. He was surprised but recovered quickly to return the hug with equal or perhaps more vigor. We sat like that for a while, neither of us moving at all. This is what he made me feel - relaxed and at ease at a mere embrace. If I could describe soulmates to someone human, I’d pick moments like this right here. Moments that were flawless because it involved nothing more than just the two of us...being there.

Eventually, I cleared my throat and moved away, my face slightly red at the show of affection that I had initiated, but Reece was certainly in a much better mood. Without warning he raised his hands and snatched me back again, my face crashing into his chest as I let out a little squeak. I was sitting awkwardly on the bed, half in half out and in the space between his knees.

“This is better.” He murmured dreamily, his chin on the top of my head. My vision was filled with him. His firm chest, his scent, his hands on my back, everything around me was him - and it was amazing. “I wish we could just be like this all day.” He said again, and I felt like he was talking more to himself - or was it to his wolf? I was about to comment on his corny behaviour but the next instant he flipped me on the bed, my hands pinned to my sides and my body under his heavy one. My wide eyes met his’ in alarm. He acted like I weighed nothing more than a pillow!

“Or like this.” He said, looking down at me with a mixture of possessiveness, protectiveness - and a lot of lust. I wanted to get him off me, I really did. But he was gazing down at me so intensely, as though he needed me with him tonight or else he might go mad, and so I just stared back at him speechless. This man, he was my other half. Surely I could hold off my embarrassment for a moment or two.

Until he dipped his head down and caught me by surprise, capturing my lips with his. His lips moved against mine gently, urging a reaction from me but I was too stunned. I could feel him reach down further, press our lips together harder and then it was too much. The sharp, wonderful current roamed my skin at his touch, eradicating all my barricades of decency and modesty. I gave back with equal vigor, my resistance shattering, and I raised my head up to match his force. Reece growled in victory before claiming my lips with his again, and somehow our talk reduced to moans and groans - most of which were from me, much to my horror.

We lay in bed for a good fifteen minutes, he had let go of my hands which were now in his hair, while his own hands were grasped tightly around my waist and the back of my head. It was fervent and intense, like we were trying to make up for those two years that we lost - no reservations. However, when his hand moved from the side of my waist and placed itself just below my collar bone I knew that we needed to stop. I took his nomadic hand in my own and pushed it down, he obliged immediately but didn’t stop.

“Reece!” I squeaked, turning my head away from him and breathing hard. “Hmmm?” his voice came out muffled as he took the opportunity to trail hot kisses on the side of my exposed neck. If it wasn’t for his heavy body above me, I was sure to have bolted off the bed because of the pulses of electricity going through me at every single peck of his lips. Gaaaaaaah!

“Reece!” I wheezed again. Goodness gracious! This feeling would drive me insane! “Reece! Stop! I-I can’t take this!” I tried again, trying to get my heart rate under control. Why was my neck so sensitive?!

I didn’t get to say his name a third time because my lips were attacked once again. I put both my hands on the square of his chest and pushed, hard. He immediately moved away, although I don’t think it was my upper body strength that managed it.

“Can’t breath.” I wheezed, trying to recover from the events that took place just now and he let out a chuckle.

He was still sitting on top of me, but I knew that his entire weight was not actually on my body.

One would think that I hadn’t been allowed to breathe for centuries- the way that I was gulping in the air.

Reece was looking down at me with an affectionate expression that immediately made me blush. Why couldn’t this man stop staring?! Honestly! My heart was already in overdrive!

Flushed, I turned my eyes away from his deep, bright ones to the side, anything to escape his gaze. My skin was still red as a sun burn though, oh the trials of the fair! It was so evident when I was blushing!

“Hey, Flora.” His thick voice called out and I shook my head with an unattractive grunt. I was not going to look at him! I can’t believe what we just did!

“Yoohoo! Ketchup?” Reece screeched in a girly voice.

At that I burst out laughing and turned my head back to him. What the hell was wrong with this man?! He was clearly out of his mind!

“Yoohoo?” I laughed, trying to control the thrill and excitement in my voice. His eyes were full of mirth as he looked at me, a genuine smile lit his face.

“Get off me!” I tried squeakily, my voice lacking it’s usual authority. My hands were back to my sides as I placed them on the top of his knees trying to push him off me unsuccessfully.

“Reece, come on!” I tried again, desperately trying to not think about what we were doing just fifteen minutes ago. Reece acted like he didn’t even notice my feeble attempts of self extraction as he continued gazing longingly at my reddened face. How did he manage to seduce me so easily?! I needed to go practice some self restraint.

I was starting to feel the exhaustion in my arms now, and at some point I stopped pushing him off. It wasn’t like he was putting all his weight on me, and the skin contact sent pleasurable shivers all over me.

“Fine,” I mumbled sleepily now and my hands slumped to my sides.

“My my, Flora. Such low stamina will not do.” Reece whispered with a smirk and my eyes flew open. “Wha- huh? Reece you-!” I was a blubbering mess. Reece’s guffawing laughter interrupted my desolate attempt of outrage and I couldn’t stop the blood from rushing up to my face.

Which Reece had a clear view off.

He was enjoying himself a bit too much if you ask me.

My eyes drooped again and Reece took that as a cue to get off me; thank God.

“I need to sleep now.” I muttered, dismissal clear in my voice. He nodded and stood up, gazing down at me with a knowing look that I couldn’t decipher.

Something was up, but I was too tired to figure out what.

“Ditto.” Reece said and then he speedily walked to the other side of the bed, and dropped down like an anchor.

To say that my sleep bounced off the bed would be apt. My wide, chocolate brown eyes turned towards his haphazard form lying over my bed.

So not only did he plan to sleep here, he would also do it by taking up the majority of the space!

Talk about ungrateful!

I made a sound that was a cross between outrage and indignation, as I bolted up, sitting to face him.

“Not happening.” I said directly, sparing the jibber jabber. Reece threw me a lazy smile before turning on his side and closing his eyes.

It only fueled my irritation.

“Reece! Get up!” I yelled after him, reaching out to hook my hand on his upper arm and yanking hard.

This was too new, too fast and I didn’t care what kind of history we had! If I was going to trust him and work this out, then I needed my space!

I managed to move him a millimeter. But my failure at pulling him up took second place as a new issue arose; my hand was stuck. He’d managed to capture my slim wrist between the side of his chest and the inside of his bicep, all the while keeping his eyes shut.

Smug bastard.

I tried to pull my hand back several times in total futility. And then yelled some more. His smile only grew while his eyes remained shut.

“Okay fine. You can sleep here.” I muttered authoritatively even though we both knew who wore the pants here.

He still didn’t let go of my hand. Oh! How in the world was I going to sleep like this? With one hand pinned tightly?

Reece turned on his front, and my glued hand went with him, making me fall closer to his back with a surprised cry. Before I could make my annoyance known, he turned again, in the same direction and somehow I ended up on top of his chest. My hand was set free - probably to avoid any sprains - but my waist was now in his clasp. I placed both my hands on his chest and straightened myself over him. My hair was spilling all around the sides of my face and his and my view cleared.

His eyes were still shut.

“Gaaaaah! Enough!” I wailed, annoyed at how I somehow felt like it was my fault I got entangled.

Reece popped an eye open and gave me a mock sleepy smile, “Oh, Flora. Honestly I’m flattered but now is not the time, ketchup. Control yourself and grab some sleep.” His lazy voice drawled out and something in me snapped.

Reece, who had shut his eyes again, looked angelic and innocent, which irked me even more. An idea sparked in my head, just like the ones running around on my skin.

I moved my legs till they were completely on him, instead of trying to move my top half off of him.

Reece’s eye twitched, but didn’t open. Asshole was as awake as the sun.

Taking a deep, noiseless breath, I moved both my hands upwards towards the sides of his neck, and leaned in closer. So close that I was sure he could feel my toothpaste breath on his face.

As if on cue, he stiffened, his eyes tightening shut, his hands digging into my waist and I let myself smile.

I clamped my hands on his shoulders and pulled myself up, basically rubbing against him and his eyes burst open as he groaned.

Keeping a poker face on, I slid further up until we were face to face, my eyes emotionless and his, well they were visibly getting darker.

Yikes, maybe I ought to stop now.

But it was too late.

The next second I was flipped over and my hands were pinned on top of my head by only a single one of his.

His dominant side had surfaced and I felt a mixture of fear and thrill rush through me. He didn’t make a move, but he was looking straight down at me as if I was his dinner and he hadn’t eaten in decades.

I gulped.

And then I struggled against his hold, trying to set my hands free. Unknown to me, I was also, err.. rubbing against him and he let out a warning growl.

I didn’t move an inch after that.

“You’re asking for it, ketchup.” A new voice told me. A deeper, more animalistic tone and I immediately knew who it was. I stiffened in panic, looking away from his soul searching gaze, wishing that I hadn’t had the revengeful streak that landed me under him in the first place.

My bottom lip quivered and I bit into it to avoid displaying how much this affected me.

“That’s not helping.” He spoke again and I turned to face him again, trying to be brave. “Please, please get off me.” My tone showed more strength than I felt.

His eyes remained dark, but softened. “You fear us.” He said quietly, and I could hear the small amount of pain that leaked out from his tone. It made me flinch. I hadn’t intended to hurt him.

I opened my mouth to deny his observation but he beat me to it. “I suppose that that is normal.” He whispered in resignation and I felt worse. My hands which were held together in his, above my head were suddenly let go off, but he didn’t make a move to get up. I slowly pulled them to my sides, while his hands went to either side of me as well, making me feel trapped.

Heat rose to my cheeks at our position, at his scrutinizing gaze. Under his soldering eyes, my clothes would evaporate.

“We’d never hurt you, Flora.” The Wolf spoke again and I nodded, some of my courage returning back to me.

“I know.” I breathed out softly, as the initial adrenaline wore off.

He was Reece. Reece was him. Both were mine. I chanted in my head, trying to get my racing heartbeat under control.

The man on top of me placed his hand just above my breast and I nearly catapulted off the bed.

“What are you doing?!” I yelled in mock outrage, but he seemed unaffected.

“Sensing” he replied vaguely, and I knew from his tone that he would provide no further explanation.

I tried to conjure up a glare but all I reached was exasperation. This man wolf would be the death of me!

And then a new thought struck me.

“I don’t..” and then I stopped, realizing how stupid I was going to sound.

“Hmm?” He looked at me affectionately, The Wolf was in control, but he wasn’t wild like I’d anticipated he might be. His eyes shone with curiosity at my unfinished sentence and he leaned a little closer, finally moving his hand off me and on the mattress beside my head.

Oh well, he wasn’t going to let go now, might as well go ahead with it. I tried again, hoping that he didn’t think that I was an utter fool.

“I don’t know your name.” I blurted out, wishing that he couldn’t see the red of my cheeks.

In this brightly lit room, with his face within inches of mine. Sure that’d happen.

A loud chuckle broke me away from my thoughts and I found him laughing on top of me.

If I was a tomato before, I was a beetroot now.

“I- I just! It never came up-” I tried to justify but he interrupted me anyway, his guffaws making me cringe internally at my stupid self.

“Adorable.” He said all of a sudden and then stopped laughing altogether.

He wasn’t as lethal as he seemed.

Looking over me like a puppy would, all in my face grasping for attention.

An unfiltered giggle escaped through my lips at his cute face, which had a few seconds ago seemed dangerous to me.

The Wolf raised an eyebrow, and I shook my head, indicating the solid choice of not sharing what I was thinking. He looked like he was about to press further, but instead chose to get off me.

I breathed a little easier, that’s for sure.

“My name is Zuka.” He introduced himself and I smiled, holding out an awkward hand for him.

“I’m Flora.”

He looked at my hand with a short laugh before taking it in his.

His hands were warm and when he squeezed mine harder, I felt the sparks increase as well.

“Pleasure to meet you.” He spoke in a falsetto that had me giggling.

“The human should let me out more. You are so much cuter up close.”

I blushed at his warm words.

And then I remembered : I had questions!

Why that master of distraction! He’d so neatly avoided all my questions!

“Flora? Ms. Lori? Werewolf to human!” Reece’s voice broke through my thoughts and I flinched slightly at the transition.

“Oh, so he’s not frightened you into shock.” He said with relief. Did they really think I was so scared?

Reece rolled to the side and away from me. “Don’t bother denying it.” He said before I could rectify the situation and I just slumped back into the covers.

“I need a wall.”

“What, now?”

“Uh huh.”

“Here in the middle?”

“No, I was thinking more towards your side.” I spoke easily and then laughed at my own joke.

Reece gave me a weird look and then huffed, but he did reach for the cushions anyway.

Within seconds a makeshift wall had been constructed, although I had a suspicion that it was more to my side than his.

This elephant, occupying so much space.

“Reece?”

“Yes, love?”

“You know I have a lot of questions.”

“And here I thought that I had a strong distraction game.”

“You need a better face for that.”

“I just need access to your lips.”

I gasped. Then I realized that this could go on for a long while.

“Night.”

“Night, ketchup.”

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