Willow groaned as an alarm jolted her from her sleep. She was warm and comfortable and wanted to stay there, but the shifting of the body behind her was her indication that she couldn’t.
“What time is it?” the husky voice asked as the beeping continued.
“Seven,” Rage groaned, rolling onto his back for a moment before throwing the blanket off of him and stalking over to the alarm clock across the room.
His joints popped as he stretched his arms over his head and yawned. His sleepy face turned to her with a smirk.
“How long did I sleep? “honestly curious.
“Well, you came to the sun-room at about one, I woke you and brought you to bed around seven,” his eyes widened, even he seemed surprised that he had slept so long. Eighteen hours was not normal, by any standards.
“Thank you for setting the alarm,” he said, breaking the silence that had fallen over them. She didn’t tell him that she could tell he needed the sleep, he was worn out and clearly wasn’t getting sleep where he had been.
“You’re welcome, Hunter told me that you were leaving at eight,” he only nodded, his hand brushing through his messy hair.
“Will you help me pack?” she was shocked by his question, never expecting him to ask her to help him pack. They weren’t mates, at least not yet, and that was something a mate would do.
She exchanged her over-sized shirt and satin pajama pants for leggings and a sweater-dress. When she slipped her feet into her shoes she found Rage already waiting for her in the living room, duffel bag in hand.
Willow followed him out of the room and to the main staircase. The wide set of stairs from the second floor to the first, she was familiar with. The stairs leading from the second floor to the third was a nearly identical version. It was set about twenty feet from the second-floor landing, like a double staircase with one side leading down and the other leading up, a banister connecting them.
She ascended the stairs behind him, secretly happy that the stairwell was enclosed by smoky glass and not open empty space like the other one. She wasn’t scared of heights but falling from two floors up was not a pleasing thought.
At the top of the stairs the stone railing ended in two large walls, opening into a loft like area, iron caged three banisters that looked down on the floors below.
Six sets of double doors filled the open space, a few small sitting areas nestled about. Each set of double doors had a plaque on one of them, with names and titles engraved into them.
Rage led her to one set, these doors did not have a plaque, only a discolored spot where one had been.
When he pushed the door open she gasped. The place was huge. She had been expecting something like her rooms, but this was much bigger, and two floors high.
She made a mental note about the place being so barren, very few pieces of furniture were placed around.
“My room is upstairs,” he said, closing the door behind them. He led her once more up a set of stairs where she found herself standing before another set of double doors.
When Rage pushed them open, she was surprised to find the room had a balcony. The light streaming in illuminated the room beautifully.
Without a word, he moved to the dresser, starting to pull out clothes he needed, warm clothes, durable clothes that would last him as long as he was gone.
Willow watched for a moment as he pulled a bunch of things from drawers, when he had a pile he moved it to the bed. When he moved on to the closet she started to place the things into his bag, pulling out everything dirty, exchanging it with neatly folded, clean versions.
“You’re probably going to need this,” he said, tossing another back onto the bed.
She frowned at the amount of clothes he was gathering. It was clear he planned on being gone for a while.
When the final item was placed in the bags, both zipped and ready for the trip, Willow looked at Rage. An uncomfortable silence had fallen over them, the finality of the moment gripping tightly to both of their minds.
“Willow,” Rage’s voice was soft, something out of the norm for him. Her eyes met his as they peered down at her, trapping all of his emotions inside of them. His hand lifted, palm cupping her cheek, “I don’t know when I will be back, but I plan to come back, to you,” his thumb skimmed down, until he gripped her chin.
“I don’t want you to go,” the whisper was nothing more than a soft breath, an escaped thought, a plea of her heart. He knew, he already knew that she didn’t want him to go and he didn’t want to, but they both knew that he had to.
He pressed his lips to hers, tenderly kissing her with as much emotion as he could, she felt it, as if his heart was speaking through the kiss to hers.
When he pulled back, he wrapped her in his arms, pulling her to his chest. It was an odd feeling, to hug someone that wasn’t his mother or Allison, but he didn’t want to let her go.
They stayed like that for a while, until he pulled back, moving away from her, and gripping his bags in his hands. His eyes filled with regret, he really didn’t want to leave.
With one last kiss, he left, ignoring the tears that were running down Willow’s face. If he didn’t leave now, he wasn’t going to be able to. Part of him wondered when he had gotten soft.
The moment he stepped out of the stone doors, Wrath turned to him, a smirk stretched across his face.
“It’s seven forty-five, we were worried you would be late,” Rage growled at his brother’s playful joke, he couldn’t be angry, Wrath rarely joked, and he was right, he was almost late, though he had no idea that Rage had almost not came at all.
“Is everyone here?” he looked between the two men beside him and then out at the gathered group in front of them. Both men nodded, strapping their bags on, “then...”
“Let’s head out,” this time he yelled, getting everyone’s attention. Each person stopping instantly, turning their attention to the Wulf’s in command. Rage had a feeling that this was going to go well, despite the worry in the back of his mind.