Disguise

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Forgotten One

Reece’s POV

It’s so .... Hot. I’m feeling so hot. I wish you would just-

I ground my teeth in frustration. My mate was playing with fire. At this rate I’d have to leave before the closing speech and have my way with her in the woods.

Reece. Your arms around me, on my waist, sliding up my hips, gripping my bottom..

I almost let out a groan. If she would keep this up, it wasn’t going to end well.

Taking my eyes off the old man talking about his property nearby, I scanned the crowd for my mate. I spotted her back from far away, she was leaning over as though she was trying to control her laughter. In front of her stood Daniella, who was not holding back as she openly glanced at me.

Sienna had left the moment she’d done her work - taught my love how to block her mind, but still send mindlinks to people.

And she was enjoying teasing me from across the clearing.

I should just block her out too. This sort of torture was not good for me.

But we both knew I couldn’t. I wanted to hear her..talk dirty.

Was it easy for her to think like that and still look so calm? I was going to die of blue balls here!

And then kiss my lips hard, like the savage beast you are, because you know, I love it rough.

That part had me doubling over coughing. GOODNESS! Where was my shy Flora getting the courage to say things like this?

Narrowing my eyes, I noticed her sway slightly.

Was she drunk? Oh God she was drunk!

And by the looks of it, so was Dani, and werewolves didn’t get drunk easily! Dammit Daniella!

The old man in front of me held out something and I had to drag my attention back to him. It was his business card. I took it with a distracted smile, hoping it looked genuine enough.

I just really wanted to get to her! But I knew I had to practice restraint unless I wanted the people from the human world publishing pictures of Flora in tomorrow’s news.

Earlier when I’d gone to her car, I’d made sure we were well away from any prying eyes as well.

That woman was really pushing her luck today!

Grey! Control your woman! I shot a loud mindlink to my beta. From the side of the field I saw him visibly wince at how authoritative my command was, but then he turned to me from the chair he was sitting on, and gave me a roll of his eyes.

I don’t even want to know. He mindlinked back, as he heaved himself up from the bench, leaving Hank and Atticus engaged in a deep conversation. I followed his figure as he walked past me, and began to move towards his mate and mine.

Alpha King, there is a situation.. The voice of Noori’s brother was a huge surprise in my head. Cautiously, and my mind completely alert now, I automatically looked around for him in the festivities.

Yes, Nate?

Ummm, It’s hard to explain. His voice came through, I could still not spot him. My restlessness grew.

Where are you? Is it some sort of danger? Speak up! I let some of my authority seep into my tone. I didn’t want to scare the young lad but I couldn’t deal with his calm nature with my mate intoxicated and teasing. As if on cue,

I think I will go shop for some really good lingerie tomorrow. But maybe not since you look like someone who’d tear it off. A small part of my mind - that wasn’t a horny dog - was actually impressed that she could mind link when she was drunk, it made me feel proud.

It’s not urgent, and nothing dangerous.

Can it wait then? I cringed at my own words, I could have been a little less harsh since he already sounded so uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I didn’t bother to amend my words - I was a King.

“So, if you like, do come visit it sometime. It will need some restoration work, but I think we could turn it into a beneficial proposal!” Was this man seriously still talking? Most of the guests had left already! He must really want to sell his property. I gave him a polite nod and said, “Just drop me an email - I already gave you my email ID. We can set up a meeting.” I knew I wouldn’t invest though. His property was in the area that was now nothing but a dry abandoned land. It would take an immense amount of restoration and conservation to make that place even slightly habitable now. No wonder he wanted to get rid of it.

But I wanted to get rid of him, and this was the only way he would leave me alone. I hated these public events where I needed to socialize with people because there was media coverage. Who invited so much publicity anyway? This was supposed to be a closed off, company only event! Sienna was always trying to push the business, even when it was already going so good!

Yeah, it can wait. Nate didn’t say anything else and I made a mental note to be more polite towards the people in my pack.

From the other side of the field, Dani spotted Grey walking towards them, and her eyes widened before narrowing in my direction. I gave her a slow smirk. She started taking cautious steps, her attention back to Grey’s approaching figure. She knew she was going to get caught but she wouldn’t make it easy. She always got feisty when there was alcohol in her system. Then, in a flash she turned on her wobbly heel and sped off into the opposite direction, making a beeline for the dark forest with a squeal.

My smile widened. Bad move, werewolf men loved a chase. Almost immediately Grey sped off behind her, crossing my surprised mate who looked so clueless I could kiss her.

Flora turned around and her eyes met mine. They narrowed in the same as Dani’s did, but stayed there, not the slightest bit intimidated by my stare down. This woman wasn’t afraid of me. This woman was here to stay.

I was about to make my way towards my mate - I just couldn’t go so long without touching her, holding her by her waist, or kissing her cheeks. Gaaah! I just wanted to be around her all the time! If someone could hear my thoughts right now, they would probably consider me unfit to rule.

Most of my time went in barking out orders, making sure to keep a stoic face, ensuring that nothing could get through my facade, but this woman, she disarmed me with a single glance! It was simply unfair. I wish she knew how much power she had over me but knowing Flora, she would just tease me about it.

I spotted Xena walking over to her in a haste. Maybe she knew that her best friend was a drunk mess. Xena’s hands went to her elbow, supporting Flo easily as she looked around. After spotting a chair nearby, she helped Flora to it, and said something that looked like a strict instruction. Suddenly, they both seemed to reverse roles. I was always under the assumption that Flora was the responsible one - since the night at that club opening, but I could see now that both girls were equally protective of each other.

I was glad that Flora had found someone like her. She deserved good friendships after what we had done to her.

Don’t go there now, you’re going to make it up to her.

“Do you want something to drink, sir?” One of the hotel staff was asking from my right and I broke my eyes away from her to look at the young lad. His name tag read ‘Jose.’ His natural smell told me that he wasn’t a werewolf, but even humans knew (some sort of internal instinct perhaps?) that we were a little different. I could see in his body language that he felt intimidated, but he was doing a good job of putting up a front.

“We never found the key.” He almost blurted out the words and I raised an eyebrow to his statement.

“Excuse me?”

“The key, for Ms. Lori. I thought she dropped it into the pool but I went back and scanned the entire pool twice. It wasn’t there.” He seemed almost scared of his confession. My forehead crinkled in worry.

“You were there when she fell in the pool?”

“You could say that, sir.” He was being evasive, but I was more worried about the key card for B3. Should I have the access changed? I didn’t want to take any risks with Flora.

“Did you see anyone else get near the pool?”

“No sir.”

“Alright. Thank you for letting me know.”

Jose nodded and was about to step away when I made a split second decision to ask him one last question.

“Was the pool hot?” My question stopped him short, his hand clenched the circular tray he was holding a little more tightly.

“No, sir.” I waited for him to continue because it looked like he wanted to add something. “But, it almost seemed like it was hot, until it was not.” As if he realized how vague he sounded, the tip of his ears turned red.

“The pool heating systems have been offline since a week because we’re making changes and switching to more efficient heating fixtures, but in that moment before she fell in, it almost felt like the water would steam.” He elaborated and then excused himself quickly, as if he couldn’t bear to explain how it felt without making a complete fool out of himself.

Me on the other hand? I knew what was going on, and I was not thrilled about it. Clenching my teeth, I made my way across to where Xena was trying to get Flora to eat something.

“Come on, Flo. You love fries!” Xena cooed, trying to be as convincing as she could. Flora gave her a wide eyed innocent look before opening her mouth and saying, ‘aaaah.’

My heart soared at her cuteness, could I ever get used to how amazingly adorable she could be? I let out a little chuckle and Xena realized that I was there behind her. “Oh! Reece!” She then looked back and forth between the two of us before promptly throwing her hands in the air.

“You handle her now!” Xena snickered, before patting Flora’s head twice. She bounced away without looking back, but something told me that she wasn’t as careless as she seemed to be. I turned my head back to Flora, who’s wide starry eyed look had me almost on my knees, asking her for marriage right there and then.

“Reece-y.” She sang, lifting her hand to grab the open end of my coat. I let her pull me close to her, looking up once around us to ensure that nobody was looking this way. I might have to announce our relationship out sooner than I thought. It’ll be harder to protect her once that happens but she deserves the title and the position. It was hers to begin with. Especially considering that all the werewolves in the world were already aware that they have a Luna - they felt their Queen since I marked her. I wondered if that thought would make her nervous - knowing her it probably would.

“You have such bright eyes.” She murmured, pulling me lower, by my jacket and I leaned in. She was looking right into my eyes as if she were looking for something and I couldn’t help but ask, “What are you looking for?” her eyebrows scrunched in concentration and it took all my willpower to not lean down and kiss her.

Blue balls!

“I’m waiting for them to change color.” She admitted, pulling me closer still. Her other hand left my jacket and went to my tie, grabbing the part closer to my neck. I raised an eyebrow in surprise at her gesture. It was official; I loved drunk Flora. Giving me a lazy smile she suddenly yanked at the tie, hard.

And I fell in, stumbling. Catching myself at the last minute and correcting myself using the back portion of her chair, I raised my face to find her lips so close to mine. Shouldn’t have caught myself that soon – damn werewolf senses. I looked into her eyes and naturally, she shied away from me, moving her gaze from my penetrating one to look out at the lake beyond us. It was a pretty sight, for both of us, maybe more for me. I could look at her looking at other things all day.

“It was almost steaming.”

That boy’s words made a nasty return and all my warm thoughts were pushed away as a new problem arose. What was I going to do of this? Flora was still a human, and she might choose to stay as one forever, but these powers – they manifest so rarely that I don’t even think uncle Theo had heard about them. She wouldn’t have a choice if she got one of the strongest powers. Her human body wouldn’t handle that at all.

I’d have to turn her for her to survive.

I ground my teeth in frustration and moved away from her, deciding to settle for looking at the lake, standing right next to her.

I felt her head turn, but I kept my gaze fixed ahead. She was already so shaken up from what happened yesterday that I couldn’t bring myself to tell her about the next new problem that was here.

“Your grip on this chair will break it, Reece-y.” she sang softly, her words meaning to be gentle yet attentive. Immediately my fingers relaxed – she’d caught me even when she was buzzed out of her mind. I chuckled to myself, I let my emotions flow so easily around her.

“Poor chair, are you okay?” She was now talking to the side handle of the chair, rubbing it softly. I couldn’t help but smile. What a dumb girl. My dumb girl.

“What’s that? You’re just worried about Reece-y?” She slurred aloud, leaning forward to press her ear against the chair as if she could hear it better. My smile turned to a grin. I guess she worried about me just as much as I worried about her.

“Whenever I’m tense about something, I go for a swim.” She told me, talking to me now. I finally looked at her, raising an eyebrow and she rolled her eyes at me. “Fine, even when I’m not tense, I go for a swim.” She admitted, shaking her head. I scanned our surroundings, most of the people had already left. Dinner was wrapped up and some staff was wrapping up the last bit of material. The event had been a success. Sienna was barking out orders as she looked at her watch.

I knew that this was a good moment to test it. Her lack of sobriety wouldn’t let her focus well enough to use all her energy.

“I like that idea, but the water looks cold.” I told her, gazing back at the lake. Its dark color glistening under the moonlight. “Cold water is more fun than hot.” She teased, before her forehead wrinkled, “I don’t like hot.”

We’re leaving now. Do you want to ride with us?

No, go ahead. I’ll drive her and her car back, and Sienna?

Hmmm?

Good work today. I’m proud of what you’ve done to this hotel.

Thanks...brother.

The distinct sound of a car door slamming shut was followed by the movement of wheels on uneven ground.

“Make it cold for me, then.” I whispered, making sure to look straight ahead at the water.

In retrospect, I should have been more careful about what I spoke, especially after what that boy told me, but a part of me needed to know now. How big of a problem was it going to be?

“What? How?” She looked dumbfounded, but I pushed on. “Just wish for it to be cold.”

And just like that, she listened. The calm water began to move. Flora’s eyes were shut in concentration. If she had been sober she’d have dismissed this so easily and called me crazy. Like a magnetic pull, I walked closer to the bank. It was almost as if something was swirling underneath the surface. Something big. As I got closer, the water turned choppier, it crashed into itself, creating waves and ripples across the surface. Her eyes were still shut in concentration. The temperature dropped around us.

Without warning a massive monument of ice began to rise up from the lake. I watched mystified as the ice which was only half my height started growing larger. Its somewhat cylindrical structure was glistening like clear glass in the natural light, making it seem exquisite and natural. I couldn’t move. The water in the lake moved towards it, almost as if it were being pulled to the center of that large crystal. I watched as it rose up on the smooth circular surface and froze in place, making it grow even larger. Within seconds, the size doubled and I was looking at something that was three times taller than me! And fuck was I tall!

Liquid awe pooled into my veins as the water level reduced in the lake, and the structure grew.

Liquid awe and fear.

Turning on my heel, I ran back to her, reaching her within a second. “Flora STOP IT” I yelled, shaking her hard. Her eyes flew open and she looked into mine with alarm. She was burning hot. “Reece!” she yelled, raising her arms onto my shoulders and wondering what was wrong. “I just asked for cold!” I told her, “Not ice!” I glanced back frantically at the lake, relieved to see that the tower hadn’t grown any taller. She saw beyond my shoulders, and her eyes widened in awe. “Reece, that is so pretty. Was that always there?” her speech was slow. Too slow.

“Flora stay awake!” I yelled, my protective instincts taking over as I hugged her tightly. I could hear Zuka yelling at me in my head. Her body reached its normal temperature and she slumped against me. “I’m just sleepy, it’s rude to keep people awake you know.” She frowned, trying to keep her tired eyes open. I knew it was an overreaction. She had just lost a lot of energy, but she was my mate dammit! I couldn’t help but fret.

“I know. But pleas-” A loud splashing sound interrupted my instructions. I turned back around to see that the ice had fallen sideways, into the water and was now floating around like a log. The lake returned to it’s somewhat normal levels but the air continued to remain chilly.

Immediately, I felt her pockets for the car keys and scooped her up in my arms. Not before long, we were already winding down the mountain roads to the hotel. I kept glancing at her, making sure she was at the correct temperature and color as I sped ahead.

Sienna! Get the council assembled now! I opened a mind link to Sienna, Grey, Daniella and Hank.

Her response was immediate. Reece what the hell happened? I could feel her fear for her Queen.

Grey I need you to handle them until I get there. I should be there in ten minutes.

Will do, Alpha. I felt his tense reply.

Flora’s fine. But this is urgent. We need to make security extra tight from now on. I tried my best to put them at ease.

Reece – not many people know about her being the Queen yet you don’t need to worry-

It’s not that, Dani!

What is going on then? You’re scaring us! Hank spoke through, his voice almost demanding.

I let out a growl, silencing the chaos within them.

They stopped talking among themselves and waited for me, their Alpha King. I could feel their emotions match mine as I spoke the next sentence.

I think...I think that she’s one of the forgotten.

WHAT??!!

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