Willow woke up warm, surrounded by the scent of Rage.
Her sleepy mind drawing a frown from her as she tried to remember what was going on.
“You move around too much,” a husky voice grumbled before a strong arm snaked around her, pulling her back against a muscular chest.
Slowly she turned her head, her cheek brushing his bare chest to look up at Rage.
His eyes were closed, long eyelashes laying against his cheeks. She watches his relaxed face, wondering how many people actually got to see him like this. He looked almost boyish like this, despite the growth of beard that was almost long enough to run her fingers through.
She took her time looking over him, his face, his chest that was covered in scars and a single tattoo that sat over his heart.
His face scrunched as she ran her fingers along the black inked wolf inside a circle.
“Can’t we just sleep a little longer?” He whined, rolling over so her face was nestled in his chest. His arms wrapped around her, pulling her tight against him. She giggled at his actions, he was being adorable.
She laid there, letting him sleep until her body protested. She sighed when she realized she would have to wake him up to get out of bed.
“Rage?” She asked with a whisper, hoping that it wouldn’t startle him.
“No,” he grumbled, pulling her tighter, which was a bad idea as the added pressure only made the situation worse.
“Rage, I need to get up,”
“No,” he growled deeply in protest, she fought back a smile, but the vibration made her need worse.
“Rage, I need to pee,” he huffed, loosening his grip around her so she could slip from the bed, grabbed her satin robe and head to the bathroom.
When she stepped back into the living room after finishing her business in the bathroom, she was surprised to find that it was actually very early. No one would even be downstairs for breakfast for another hour.
The sight of Rage froze her in her tracks, her heart dropping into her stomach. He was sitting on the edge of the bed, head in his hands that were tangled in his short curls.
Blood pulsed in her hears as she waited, dread consuming her as she waited for him to change his mind, go back on his word and tell her that he didn’t want her as his mate.
She gasped as his troubled eyes turned to her, speaking so much that she truly believed that they could show her his soul if she looked long enough. The emotions swirled, his brow creasing as he turned fully to look at her.
“Please don’t,” the words ghosted past her lips, her throat tightening, her doubts consuming her thoughts as she looked at the male before her. Her heart was breaking, and he hadn’t even said a word yet.
“I need to tell you something,” his voice was firm but stained as he patted the bed next to him. Willow cautiously looked at the spot, every part of her seemed to be shaking with fear at what he was going to say. She couldn’t handle his rejection again.
Slowly she moved, her eyes pinned to the spot on the blanket next to him. Shakily she lowered herself next to him. She jumped as he placed his warm hand on her thigh.
“I am leaving tomorrow morning, I’m not sure,” he paused, gulping past the lump in his throat, “I’m not sure when I will be back,”
Willow seemed to sink, though it was not what she was expecting, it still wasn’t anything remotely good. He was leaving, to fight in the “war” that he told her about and leaving her here to wait for him to return... or... the gods forbid... if he returned.
She placed her hand on top of his, silently urging him to continue. She needed to know if he was saying goodbye, if he really thought he was going to die.
“This was not the ideal time to start a mating...”
“Was there ever going to be a good time?” His bright eyes met hers, reminding her, in that moment, of the sun that she loved to sit under and read, “Rage, I’m glad we did this now, then never getting the chance,”
His free hand lifted, cupping her cheek, eyes boring into one another.
“Willow?” a sweet voice called, muffled by the distance and two doors between them and the feminine owner.
“Is that my mother?” Rage asked wide-eyed looking towards the door and then at Willow. Slowly she nodded.
“She’s the only one who comes to.my room, well except Fury,” a dark growl came from Rage and she almost smiled at his reaction.
“That is something we will have to discuss later,” he grumbled as the sound of the door opening her name being called again.
“Does she know you’re here?” She watched his stiff body freeze as the sound of footsteps approached the bedroom door.
“I don’t think so,” he shook his head, eyes glued to the door.
“Can’t she smell you?” He turned to her with a frown and she knew there was something she didn’t know.
“Her senses are muted due to her grandmother being human,” he whispered, hoping his mother’s hearing was as bad as he remembered.
“Willow, sweetie, are you awake?” Joy’s voice asked through the door after a soft knock. Willow took a moment, wondering if she should pretend she was still asleep.
“Yes, I just woke up,” she finally responded, she just couldn’t bring herself to lie to her.
“Are you coming down for breakfast today?” Joy’s voice asked sweetly through the door.
“Yes,” Willow paused when her voice cracked, clearing to throat, “I just need to shower and get dressed,”
“Alright, I’ll be down there when you’re done,” her voice sounded happy and relieved, if Willow heard what she thought she did in her voice.
They both stayed quiet, listening as his mother left, the main door closing with small sound behind her. They both released a breath as if they were teens, trying to keep the male a secret from the female’s family. In a way, it kinda was.
“We better get ready and go down there,” Rage only grunted as they both stood, each moving to get ready. Willow grabbing a fresh set of clothes as Rage grabbed his from the night before that had be tossed about the room with hers.
Rage gulped as Willow exited the bathroom, the floral print summer dress she was wearing hugged her curves, showing off just enough of her body and legs to draw attention.
“You ready?” she asked, squeezing a towel around the ends of her wet hair. He could only nod as she smiled, and tossed the cloth into a basket just inside the door.
Rage was tense as they walked to the dining room. Slowly walking behind Willow as his nerves ate away at him. His was worried about how his mother would react, he had no doubt that his brothers knew and possibly the rest of the family. If his mother had known, then she would have been looking for him this morning and not coming to Willow’s room to ask if she was coming down for breakfast.
When they reached the dining room, he stopped just outside the door, Willow continuing into the room and to her seat, unaware of his pause.
As soon as he stepped through the door he froze. Every set of eyes were on him, his uncles and aunts seemed surprised, his brothers and cousins seemed more interested in how everyone else was acting, it was his mother that drew his eye. She sat in her chair, back straight as her brown eyes wide, mouth slightly parted in shock.
For a moment the room was silent, until his mother abruptly stood, her chair toppling to the floor behind her.
“Ragnar Grayson Wulf, how dare you come home and not tell me!”