IF YOUR READING PAST THIS POINT KNOW THAT IT'S UNEDITED AND NOT FLOWING WITH THE CURRENT VERSION
“I don’t think your pack members like me very much...” I remarked as I noted the way the people in the bar stared in my direction. There was scowls on their faces and suspicion dripping from their eyes. My skin crawled with the contempt that they cast through the air in my direction. I wasn’t sure what had been said about me but from the looks of it, it had been nothing good.
Rhys turned his face toward the room, scanning it with narrowed eyes, before fixating his gaze on me, “They will come around, once they know you’re not a threat to them.” I almost spit my food out at his comment. It was the most ridiculous thing, that a werewolf should be afraid of little old me. I barely stood at five foot five and weighed about hundred and twenty pounds. Most of the females in the room were taller and bigger than me and had the strength of a supernatural being to aid them. I had myself and my pistol. The odds weren’t really stacked in my favor.
I shifted uncomfortably in the booth, “Maybe we should have stayed in after all...” I mumbled under my breath. The only reason we were even here was because I had argued with Rhys in the morning about how I needed to get out of the house. I wasn’t one who enjoyed being stuffed up in a place for long, it made me a little stir crazy. I was or at least I used to be a social person before everything. A part of me wanted to meet Rhys pack, and friends. If there was ever going to be anything between us then it would be important but perhaps it was too early for those thoughts by the reception I was receiving.
“I’m going to go to the bathroom.” I mumbled as I scooted along the seat. I needed a moment where people weren’t breathing down my neck. Rhys made a move like he was going to follow me and my eyes widened, “What are you doing?” I hissed under my breath, eyes sliding to the couple at the table beside us for a moment.
“I was coming with you. I’ll stand outside the bathroom...”
I shook my head, “No. I don’t need you with me every second of the day, Rhys. I am fine and nothing catastrophic is going to happen to me in a bar full of...you know...” I didn’t want to stay the word in case there was any humans around. I couldn’t decipher the difference between them at first glance.
He frowned up at me, “I don’t like you out of my sight for too long...” I could understand the feelings after I had only been taken a couple of days ago. Even I felt a little antsy moving to far away from him but I didn’t want the experience to cause me to lose the independence I had fought so hard for.
I reached out and placed my hand over his, sliding my thumb back in a soft caress, “I am going to be fine. I don’t need you to be my bodyguard...no one will ever respect me like that. Just be my...” I paused at the word as he met my gaze with those deep green eyes of his. I wasn’t ready to call him my mate. I wasn’t in denial about it but it still felt like it was too much for me, too permanent.
“Just trust me that I am strong enough to look after myself.” I gave him a small smile as I pulled my hand away, “I’m not completely defenseless. I’ve been doing this on my own for a while now.” I didn’t wait around for him to try to make a counter argument for why I should let him come with me. I didn’t want a bodyguard or babysitter.
I knew the girl when she waltzed into the bathroom, brown hair tied up into a ponytail and blue eyes sparkling with falsehood. I knew the look because I had seen enough in other girls when I had something they wanted and this girl wanted Rhys. I was sure she wasn’t the only female in the bar out there that did. I forced myself to stay relaxed as I continued to wash my hands.
She moved to the sink next to mine, “You’re the girl staying with, Rhys right?” She asked a question that she already knew the answer to, pretending to be dumb.
I kept my eyes focused on my hands as I pulled them out of the water and shook them off, “That would be me.” I replied flatly. I turned to her, meeting her blue-eyed gaze in the reflection of the mirror. She was a beautiful girl, a girl who knew she was beautiful.
“Rhys has always been a demanding male, a little overprotective at times. So I can only assume how suffocated you must feel. I know it always makes me feel suffocated.” She said with a smile, looking back down at her hands. I felt my throat constrict at how intimately she was talking about her and Rhys relationship. I didn’t know what had been between them or what was between them. I mean he had sent her away and I knew that Rhys and I were mates but that didn’t mean that he hadn’t had other females in his life before me. Perhaps even a girlfriend.
I shifted on my feet, “So you and Rhys...” I had already figured for myself that they had been sleeping together.
She turned to face me, leaning her hip into the sink, “Rhys and I have had a special relationship for a while. After his father died I was there to help pick of the pieces. He was devastated and one thing kind of lead to another. We didn’t want to label it...” She wiped her hands on the front of her jean shorts, “But I know that he wants an heir and I am the one that can give him a strong one. One worthy of leading this pack when he is ready to step down. It’s only a matter of time before he announces things to everyone.”
I didn’t know anything about an heir but I assumed she was talking about children. My stomach twisted violently at the thought of him making babies with this girl, with any other girl but me. Jealousy swept through me like venom from the bite of a snake, burning my insides. I didn’t like the feeling, not one bit.
I closed my hands into tight fists at my side, “You should know that...”
“You think he can do that with you, human?” She interrupted me. I wanted to say I was surprised by the switch in her attitude but this is what I had been expecting all along. I was the outsider. I didn’t know their ways or what it truly meant to be a werewolf. All I knew was that they could be dangerous and I was without a physical weapon at the moment. I shifted slightly, lifting my chin as I met her gaze head on. I wasn’t going to back down, even though my survival instincts screamed that I bow my head and show my neck.
She snorted at me, moving closer, “You think that you will be able to stand beside him as the alpha female? Don’t dilute yourself, human. You don’t have the strength, power, or authority to do that. At best you’ll be the silent shadow beside him.” She reached out and plucked some of my hair away from my face, eyes scanning me in a predatory way. My back was stiff as a board as my heart hammered against my chest.
“Just know none of the pack will accept you, none of them will trust you. The only thing you have to offer is your body. As it is If you tried to carry his children it’d probably kill you or your children might turn out like you...human. This pack would never accept them. You must see that this thing you think you have will never work out.” Her words were like blow after blow to my heart. I wanted to believe I didn’t care but my emotional reaction said otherwise.
“Is that all?” I asked back, keeping my face blank as I searched her eyes. I saw the flicker of something else, her beast. The intelligence and rage of the creature hidden just beneath the surface.
The bathroom door opened before she could respond, “Camila, Kiber is looking for you. People are wondering where their food is...” A tiny girl with a head full of curls looked between us. Camila backed away from me with a hungry smile, obviously feeling victorious about our interaction.
She spun around, “Coming...” I watched as she walked away, pulling the door open all the way. She flipped a look at me over her shoulder, “Think about what I said.” She and the other girl left me alone. I let out a shaky breath, unclenching my hands that trembled. I had a lot of emotions rushing through me. I didn’t know what I was doing anymore, every decision I made seemed to be working against me one way or another.
The only thing I was certain of was that I wasn’t going to let people scare me anymore. I couldn’t keep running away. I needed to make a stand, not because I was certain of Rhys and I. No, I needed to make a stand for myself. I needed to prove Camila wrong. I needed to prove Silas wrong. I may be a human but that didn’t mean I was weak. I was a smart girl and I knew how to handle myself.
I took in a slow breath through my nose and let it out through my mouth, heading out of the bathroom. I knew what I needed to do. I could feel their eyes on me as I walked with a purpose through the room, but I kept my chin up. I was only going to be a target if I cowered. Animal instinct was to go for the weakest link, the sick one. I appeared that way to them but they were underestimating me. Including, Rhys.
A large male stepped into my path, and I stopped. The energy in the room shifted, “Excuse me...” I said trying to remain polite. I wasn’t looking to make a scene, this wasn’t the way that I wanted to make my first impression to his pack.
The male smelled strongly of alcohol, wavering on his feet. He reached out and grabbed onto me, pulling me close, “Come on, sweetheart. We know you have a taste for my kind. No need to play hard to get. All you need to do is spread your legs like you do for our, Alpha.”
I clenched my teeth together in silent rage, “You’ve clearly had too much alcohol if you think I would ever spread my legs for someone like you.”
“You think you’re better than me?” He growled, tightening his hold on my arm.
I gave him a hard look, “Think? No, I know I am better. Now let go of me before you make even more of a fool of yourself then you already have.”
He growled before he spun me around and shoved me into the table. I let out a small sound as my hips hit the hardwood of the table. The other men at the table stared at me with hungry looks, clearly not caring what there friend was doing. He pressed himself into my ass. It made my stomach roll with disgust and my muscles tense with awareness.
I turned my head to lock gazes with Rhys, who was rising up from his spot with a look of murder in his gaze. I couldn’t let him handle this for me. If I did these people would always see me as weak. I would always be a target.
I turned my eyes away from him, letting out a sound close to growl as I reached out for the steak knife. Once my hand was wrapped around the handle I jabbed back with my elbow quickly, catching him in the chest. I stumbled back as he made a sound like I had knocked the wind out of him. I didn’t waste my opportunity. I whirled around with the knife in my hand, meeting his throat.
The room came to a standstill, everyone focused on the interaction taking place. The male was breathing heavily as he stared down at me through narrowed eyes. I flicked my tongue over my lips, “Get on your knees.”
He let out a sharp growl, shifting forward. I pressed the knife more firmly to this skin, “I said get on your knees.” My voice came out firm and demanding. Much to my own surprise the male shuddered and begrudgingly lowered himself to his knees in front of me. I stared down at him in the submissive position, lifting my chin, “Next time you touch me like that again. I promise you won’t I hesitate to take both of your hands so you can never do it again.” I was surprised by my own violence but I knew I meant what I was saying. I wasn’t going to be the victim, anymore.
“Bitch, I will...”
I cut him off by making sure I broke the surface of his flesh, “If you think Rhys is the only one that you need to be afraid of you are wrong.” He sneered up at me and I pressed the knife harder to his flesh, my heart beating steadily in my chest, “Don’t fuck with me.” Silence coated the room. I pulled the knife away and stabbed it into the wood of the table. I turned and met the eyes of several people in the room, watching as they slowly averted their gazes.
Rhys closed the distance between us, looking down at the male before me, “I would get the fuck out of my sight if I were you...” He growled before grabbing onto me and pulling me to his side. He didn’t seem to care as he lowered his face to mine and pressed his mouth to mine in a hungry kiss, practically devouring me right there in front of everyone.
He pulled back, slightly as he held my gaze with barely contained desire, “That was so hot. I need to have you, right now." I swallowed hard as heat rushed into my core and my pussy clenched with the same need. I nodded my head. I needed Rhys too. His lips twitched upwards at my consent before he turned us away and dragging me from the bar. I found myself casting a look towards Camila as we left, giving her a victorious smirk as she narrowed her eyes.