Chapter 68: Coffee Mug
He lightly pressed his lips to her neck, his stubbles scratchy against her skin. Erela leaned her head back so he could comfortably reach other places of her neck and he ran his hand through her short hair. Her roots tickled to his touch and goosebumps ran down her neck to her legs, exhaling a breath of ecstasy. He lightly kissed up her jawline and bit her earlobe. Erela sighed as her legs moved on their own and wrapped around his legs, only for her to rub her body closer against his as he laid on top of her.
Erela opened her eyes into the warm honey brown eyes she missed and yearned for. Looking into them made her feel like she was sixteen again, like his love was all she wanted and needed, and just his stares pushed her into a place where time stood still and sped forward at the same time. Only his eyes stared at her and her alone.
He lightly pressed his forehead against hers and nervously pursed his lips, leaned in, and—
She jerked away and squinted her eyes toward the scruffy werewolf man. And then her dream just a moment ago came flooding back and her face turned pink. "Hey . . ." she groaned sleepily and took a pillow to cover her face. "Why is it hot in here . . .?" Erela asked in a muffle behind her pillow.
"It snowed last night," Wisenburg answered. "It was freezing in here so I turned it on. Besides, you always complained that you hate the cold."
The young Auror groaned at him and heard him leave the living room into the kitchen. Oh god . . . the man had told her years ago that she talked in her sleep. Please, for the love of god and all that was good, please tell her she didn't say anything while she was asleep. That would be AWFUL if he was there hearing her speak of whatever rambles went on in her head about him in her dream.
"Thank you . . ." she called after him and pulled the blanket with her to cover herself and dragged her feet to the kitchen.
Wisenburg glanced over at Erela when she entered the kitchen and then back down to ready the batch of coffee. "Were you bored?"
"No," she yawned and scratched her head, her hair curled in every direction. "I was alright. Managed to get some work done," Erela said sleepily and rubbed her eyes. She sniffled a little and stared at the back of the man's head. Her little flower study the day before had thrown her off and made her jump to conclusions, she could just be overthinking it and he had been thinking of someone else. Just because it changed certain colors around her didn't mean it had anything to do with her . . .
"You're not going to ask where I've been . . .?" Wisenburg asked.
Erela shook her head. "No . . . it's your business."
Wisenburg blinked a couple times and turned away to switch the coffeemaker on and waited for the brew to fill the pot. "Find anything new while I was gone?" he asked.
Yes and no. She technically did find something new, but not something he looked for in an answer. Something like realizing that her feelings for her fiancé were not as strong as she had thought and that the only time she had strong feelings for anyone and shared an amazing kiss with was with the werewolf that stood before her. Erela scratched her nose and shook her head, "Nothing . . ." she answered. "I don't know where to start."
Just push the thought out and deal with the conflicting feelings later.
The werewolf turned around and leaned against the counter, his fingers tapping against the counter thinking of something. "What if our target is someone we know . . .?" he asked.
"It's just a thought. I mean, if it were me, I would have kept an eye on my pursuers. So that way I know what they're planning," Wisenburg said.
Erela blinked a couple times and pressed her fingers against her lips, her eyes on the ground as she thought of what he said. It was a smart move and that only made her idea of polyjuice potion that much stronger. But with Wisenburg having been in hiding, their criminal might be someone SHE knew. Her heart raced quickly as she fiddled with her ring that hung on a chain around her neck while Wisenburg poured a cup of coffee for the both of them.
Erela took the mug from his hold and sipped the bitter beverage. Someone she knew at work perhaps. Maybe someone in her department to keep a really close eye on her. After all, she helped enforce the law . . . It could be anyone in her department though. He could take form of older members, maybe he joined the force the same time she did after training . . . there were too many possibilities.
"How did you meet him . . .?"
"Who?" she asked absently and sipped her coffee.
Erela looked his way then back at the ring he stared at. "Oh . . ." She paused for a moment. "It's not important . . ." she sighed.
"In this case, it is. How?" he asked once more, that time with a more annoyed tone.
The Auror blinked a couple times and fingered the ring in between her fingers. "We went into training the same time . . ." Erela muttered. The werewolf tapped his mug with his index finger as he raised his brows with a gleam of no surprised in his eyes, as well as something more that sparked in his honey browns. Erela furrowed her brows at him when her eyes fell into a look of curiosity to disagreement. "It's not him . . ."
"How do you know?"
"Because I live with him and I would have seen any signs—"
"Believe it or not, Harris but you're not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. You're book smart, but you're not people smart," he interrupted. "Just because you haven't SEEN any signs doesn't mean it might not be him."
"You're crazy . . ." she groaned and swerved around the corner and out of the kitchen.
"And THERE she goes, her infamous run away tactic when the storm comes," he called after her, completely frustrated and unsurprised. Erela stopped in her tracks, turned around by the balls of her feet, stormed into the kitchen and threw her cup of scalding coffee at him, which the werewolf quickly dodged and the mug shattered on impact with the wall behind him. "What the FUCK, Erela!" he snarled.
"I've just about HAD IT with you, Wisenburg!" she growled at him. "You know what your problem is? Expecting the worst in people. ALWAYS. That has ALWAYS been your problem," she continued.
"I can't expect anything but getting fucked because that's all people do to me one way or another!" he fought back and took long strides toward her until they were a mere inch away from each other. Erela had forgotten how much taller he was compared to her, how he towered over her, how threatening he appeared . . .
I would never do that to you . . . not again . . ., Erela thought to herself and couldn't bring herself to say it. Whether what he said was true or not, she couldn't say anything to fight him or reassure him. Whatever she said wouldn't go through his thick skull anyway. He wouldn't believe her, because in his mind she came off as uncaring in every way.
They allowed what they said to each other in the air while they glared at each other intensely. The spark was there again. Or rather, fire that burned in her chest and belly. Tugging at her heartstring toward him and give into her urges, to surrender to him again. Why was it that Markus didn't make her feel that way, yet the werewolf could effortlessly? Markus was perfect for her in every way, their movement and how they touched was always in sync . . . yet there was nothing that made the feelings spontaneously combust on its own. With Wisenburg, why was it that when he argued with her his words came off as magical as when they were fifteen? A temptation that called her to bury her face in his chest, wrap her arms around his waist, count his freckles, and embrace the warmth that radiated off his body.
But she couldn't . . . She wanted to, but she was too big of a chicken to do it. Erela was all talk and no action after all. Even when her job required for her to act on missions, socially she remained just the same. Big words and feet planted to the ground.
Erela was the one to pry her eyes from his to his chest and backed away a few steps from Wisenburg. "I'm sorry . . ." she muttered. The Auror swallowed the lump in her throat, blinked a couple times, and shook her head. "Sorry for saying those things. That was uncalled for . . ." They had both snapped at each other, but she was the one at fault. She was the one that attacked first . . .
Wisenburg didn't say anything and ran his hand through his scruffy hair. He let out a sigh and looked back at the broken shards of his mug and coffee splattered on the wall. "You owe me a mug."
The young Auror pursed her lips and nodded her head. "Yeah . . . I'll clean that up . . ." she nodded to the damage and flicked her wand at the shards while she walked over to the sink and took the sponge. Wisenburg moved out of the way while shards slowly floated off the ground and to the trashcan. Erela went to the coffee splatter and wiped the brew clean off the wall.
She could feel his eyes on her back; the sense of his presence in the room enveloped her in a familiar idea of security. But that was all it was. An idea.
The werewolf walked back into the living room and his weight sank into the couch and feet propped onto the coffee table. Erela finished cleaning when she poured herself another cup and joined him in the other room. Pictures of the criminal's relatives tacked on the wall beside the photo of their target, notes written of answers to questions that Erela asked them to remind them and possibly give them a lead on anything. The Auror put her mug on the coffee table and wrote down Wisenburg's theory.
With that on the wall, Erela would have to be at work more often than usual and observe everyone, and keep a close eye on her coworkers that knew her more than the rest of the department. Finding the bastard was going be more complex than she originally assumed.
"How many people are in your department?" he asked.
"Too many to count . . ." she shook her head and took her mug and sat beside him whilst they stared at the wall.
"Not friends with a lot of people, I can safely assume."
Erela narrowed her eyes and sipped her drink. He wasn't wrong . . . it was just annoying that he was right. "I'm more comfortable with a handful of friends . . ."
Wisenburg lightly chuckled as he lifted his mug to his lips. Back to serious business. "I think it has to be someone close to you. Super close so they know what you do and your schedule and stuff."
"What about you?" Erela asked and looked towards him. "What about your pack?"
He shook his head. "I'm only close with one kid. He's a total runt. And, I don't think the twat would go to great lengths as to get himself bitten to follow me around," he answered. "You're our best bet . . ."
She pursed her lips and looked back at the wall and leaned back against the couch. "Why did you do the things you did . . .?"
"It's none of your business." Oh god, there he went again. He always avoided the question and answered the same way. Every time. Erela let out a sigh and ran her hand through her head and placed her elbow behind the couch as he continued, "Why the fuck would I tell you anyways?" he snapped and put his mug down. And the casual moment was gone yet again.
Erela put her mug down so she didn't throw it at him like she did the other and turned to face him. "I haven't arrest you, have I? I think it's safe to say I'm not going to do anything—"
But Erela was immediately silenced when Wisenburg pulled her head between his large hands and kissed her. The imagery from her dream flashed back behind her eyes, the soft kisses replaced by hard as stone pressing of their lips. Erela's brain shouted at her to push him away, but her body didn't listen. And just when she thought he was about to pull away and make it an aggressive motive to make her shut up, his hands and lips softened and pulled her closer to him.
Her body moved in sync with his and kissed him back. The fireworks, her heart racing, their temperature rising, rosy passion; all came to her at once. That sensation she couldn't remember ever feeling whenever she kissed or made love to Markus. It felt natural to have his fingers brushing through her hair and his arm around her waist. His hand lightly brushed against the skin of her waist and a tickle sensation ran up and down her body and formed goosebumps. Erela kissed him back while her hands snacked up from between their chest to around his neck.
The werewolf moved closer to her until the auror fell back on the couch. She mimicked how he kissed her, falling back into how she and Wisenburg kissed before when they were children, drowning in a sense of remembrance and nostalgia.
It felt natural . . .
It felt right . . .
Wisenburg slowly pulled away, his lips lingered just over Erela's and they opened their eyes to stare at each other. She wasn't sure what he thought at that moment, but she knew how where her feelings were. Satisfied . . .
But she didn't feel guilty . . . at all . . .