Lorelai couldn’t breathe as Evan’s lips touched hers. Nor could she make herself pull away.
From the moment he walked into the room, she somehow knew they would end up here at this moment, no matter how much she fought it. The entire week since Theo had moved her into this new room, she had been cursing his name.
That stupid asshole.
She knew immediately that her room was next to Evan’s. His scent lingered in the hallway they shared, it permeated through the walls. Every time he moved, coughed, rolled over in bed, she could hear everything. She was too aware of him. So many times she had to pull herself away from the door, too many times she had almost gone to him.
And now here she was. Kissing him.
Without realising what she was doing, her arms moved around his shoulders while fireworks of euphoria burst inside her chest. She deepened the kiss, and he groaned his approval, following her lead as his fingers pushed through her hair.
She hated to compare, she did. But the difference between kissing Liam and Evan was like night and day. She’d always loved to kiss Liam, had always assumed it could never get better. But Evan’s lips moulded to hers with perfection she didn’t know existed. She fit him completely, her body nestling against his as though they were two pieces of the same puzzle.
She couldn’t even feel guilty, though lingering threads were tangling in the pit of her stomach. Desire overshadowed any other feeling. Desire, completion and an overwhelming need to be thrown down and claimed.
As though he could read her mind, Evan grabbed her ass and lifted her. She needed no encouragement, wrapping her legs around his waist while he carried her to her bed, his lips never leaving hers. She slipped her tongue into his mouth, teasing against his. Appreciating the rumble of a growl from his chest, she rocked herself against him, feeling his hard-on against her core. He pulled his lips from hers, his darkened gaze searching her eyes.
“This is your chance to change your mind, Lorelai.” His words were hot, his tone thick and affected.
“I won’t.” She whimpered her words, nipping his lip and tugging it between her teeth. “Don’t give me time to think, Evan. Just take me.” Of course, now she said it, all she was doing was thinking.
She wasn’t doing anything wrong, right?
Being with her mate - it was as natural as breathing. She’d warned Liam already. If she saw Evan, she wouldn’t have the strength to resist the mating bond. Who would? And the way he kissed her, touched her. The way his lips teased across her neck, his teeth finding all those special spots to nip. It was unreal. Like nothing she had ever felt before. It was as though Evan had years to learn her body, to learn every spot to make her moan. To make her wet.
He growled again, the most delicious sound she’d ever heard. It made her stomach flip and clench all at once. He pulled her arms from around his neck and threw her to the bed, moving over her swiftly. His weight above her was comforting, his scent like being home. How she ever thought she could reject this man when already she felt so comfortable with him was absurd.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered. Evan paused and looked down at her, the hunger in his eyes replaced by concern. He brushed her eyes away from her eyes and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead.
“I can stop. We don’t have to do this.”
How pathetic she felt.
She loved Liam with all her heart and yet with Evan above her with his patient eyes and understanding soul, she could barely recall Liam’s face. The guilt that had escaped her so easily now threatened to shatter her. With another kiss to the forehead, Evan rolled off her and pulled her into his chest. She took comfort from him, hiding her face against him and swallowing past the lump in her throat.
“It’s okay, Lorelai. You’re okay.”
If only that were true.
She felt awful. Not only to Liam, who she had cheated on but also to the man who was now holding her tight and keeping the tears at bay. She finally understood what Ava meant about the two not being comparable and she could never fully explain the bond she felt to this man, this wolf, that she didn’t even know.
Something about him, in fact, everything about him, called to her. She may have denied it even to herself, but she wanted him even when she hated him. From the moment she caught his scent all those weeks ago, it was always going to end up here. The path didn’t matter, nor the journey. The outcome was the same, regardless.
Evan was her mate.
The Fates decided long before she was born that there was no one else in the world more suited for her. Who was she to argue with goddesses who knew more than she ever would?
“Can we just lay here?” She asked, turning her face up towards his.
“As long as you’re not chucking me out, we can do as you please, mo chridhe.” Lorelai scrunched her nose.
“What does that mean. Mo Heer?” Evan laughed, the sound rich and lovely. It sent a chill running down her spine.
“I suppose it does sound like that, aye.” He shifted his position so he could play with her hair as they spoke. “It’s Gaelic, which is an ancient Scottish language. You rarely hear it anymore, unfortunately. But we’re an ancient Scottish pack that has a tartan and crest. We’re a clan too, and the castle we’re in passed down through the clan’s chief for centuries. Just so happens our chief is our Alpha.”
“So you’ll be chief one day?”
“Yes.” His fingers felt like heaven running through her hair. His voice was soothing to her ears. She could listen to him talk for years, she realised, her heart giving a painful thud with guilt. Now she’d let him in, even slightly, she realised she’d strengthened the bond between them.
“Not any time soon, though, I hope. My father has many years left, and he’s a fantastic Alpha.”
“Where is this castle of yours, Evan? Where in the world am I?” She sensed his hesitation and she was sure she knew the reason. It felt like a test for both of them. Would he show trust in her by revealing their location? Would she keep his trust by not using it against him? She wasn’t even sure she knew the answer herself, but as Evan began speaking, his decision was clear.
“We’re about twenty miles south of your old packhouse,” he said. She didn’t miss his casual use of the word ‘old’ either and wondered just how honest he was being in his offer to let her leave. “The castle sits in the middle of a loch. We have a bridge that connects us to the land.” He shrugged. “You’re not the only one who uses water to hide their scent.”
She traced patterns on his chest with the tip of her finger as she considered his answer. Twenty miles wasn’t that far. She could make it back in no time at all. He’d been vague in his answer, but he’d given her enough information to find her way back.
“You didn’t tell me what it meant. Whatever it was you called me.”
He took her hand, trapping it against his chest as his eyes met hers. His gaze was intense, unsaid words reflected in the deep blues of his irises.
“It means my heart, Lorelai. Sweetheart, if you’re being casual.” Beneath her fingers, she could feel the rhythm of his heartbeat while they stared into each other’s eyes. “When you leave, know you’ll take a piece of me with you.”
Not knowing what to say, she broke their gaze and curled her head against his chest. His lips brushed against her hair and they fell into a calm silence.
Truth be told, if she left, she wasn’t sure she’d be taking all of hers with her either.