Izabella (The Bloodstone, #1) ✓

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15. Bloodline

He’s a what?

Rising into a sitting position, I gazed down at him quizzically but he stared back in anticipation, waiting but I was left... speechless. I wasn’t expecting this, my wolf wasn’t expecting this. She was uneasy with his answer and the stirring inside ceased for a second. Swiftly, he shot up in bed, leaning back against the headboard while pulling me onto his lap. His dark hair tumbled over his shoulders and I leaned back to get a better look at him.

He was dead serious.

“A shaman?” I asked, tilting my head to the side.

“It’s a way I’m able to connect with my ancestors,”

I raised a questioning brow. “How?”

“My family bloodline, my ancestors were shamans. I was born into a pack which was tribe-like,” His Adam’s apple bobbed with a deep swallow, his fingertips causing electricity to shoot through my skin. “Because of my ability, I’m able to connect to the other realm. The spirit you saw, she was my sister,”

I sucked in a deep breath as fear crawled up my spine. I knew it – I wasn’t insane – but why could I see her. The look in his snow-white eyes showed that he read my thoughts. Grasping my neck, his thumb skimmed his mark on me.

“We are connected,” He whispered. “What I see, you see,”

“I felt her pain,” I murmured, lowered my gaze to his lips.

“She’s hostile. They all are,” Knocking my chin up, I was forced to meet his gaze. “The hunters were ruthless. No one survived that night,”

“But you survived,” I said softly, gliding my fingers across the tiny hairs on his chest prickling my skin. He had a strong heartbeat. Yes, he was alive; his flesh was warm, a rich russet colour that made his eyes appear sharper. “I see you now,”

“What you smell from me, that apprehension you feel, it’s death. What you’re touching is a corpse belonging to my soul,”

I nodded and we both fell silent. Burying his fingers in my hair, Basil massaged my scalp and I moaned, leaning into his touch. The tip of his nose left a trail of tickles down the length of mine and I knew he was scenting me. He growled in approval, licking my neck, before placing a sweet kiss on his mark. I closed my eyes, allowing bliss to consume my body. His story explained his feral nature; he was a rogue but not by choice. His call reached my wolf, eliciting a snarl to escape my lips. His hands gripped my waist tightly.

“The full Moon is tonight,” He murmured deeply and my eyes snapped open, my heart accelerating at the truth of his words. I couldn’t ignore my attraction for Basil or the fear at the thought of being with him intimately. I’d never been with anyone else but I wasn’t naïve. I knew about sex– the benefits and the consequences – but all in all, I couldn’t chase away the nerves I felt deep inside.

“Already?”

“I’ve been patient,” He kissed me again, stealing my breath for a second. “But I want to do this right. I want to continue our bloodline,”

All sensations of pleasure died as a bitter flavour formed on my taste buds. He wants to continue our bloodline... he wants pups? I only turned twenty-one, I wasn’t ready to be a mother - I didn’t know how to be one. Basil detected my panic.

I just met him, why the hell did he want pups? Rapidly, I shook my head, trying to break out of his hold but his arms tightened around me.

He met my gaze. “The purpose of mating on a full moon is to increase the chance of your fertility,”

“But I... I can’t be a mother, not now... I just met you!”

He frowned, the corner of his lips stiffening in displeasure. “It’s our duty to procreate,”

“No, it’s your duty but it’s mine to bear all the burdens to raise a child, right?” He didn’t say anything. Scoffing in disbelief, I shoved him away. “Unbelievable,”

He had some backward, barbaric traditions he valued, ones I didn’t understand. The thought of being cornered into a role I didn’t desire infuriated me. I would want pups one day but I also wanted to be seen as his equal and any work I had reflected his as his mate to the point where we’d be viewed as one. Again, I tried to push him away but he wouldn’t budge. Despite the Alpha blood running through my veins, biologically, he was stronger than me. We Alpha females were predisposed that way so we’d show complete submission towards our Alpha mates. Or so I was taught. Nobody else but him I’d submit to but it wasn’t that time.

I scratched his arms violently but he didn’t flinch at the pain. I growled in frustration and I thought he found amusement in my attempts. Keyword: I thought. I’d never seen Basil smile other than in my dream and that was his human side. I grabbed his face, tugging his beard, bringing my face closer to his.

“I will find a way, you know, ever heard of birth control?”

Basil’s eyes narrowed into slits. “Do not test me, Izabella,”

“You’ve already taken away my old life, please, don’t force this on me. I can’t be a mother, not yet.”

For a few seconds, he didn’t say a word, his eyes searching my face and I hoped - prayed - he saw my lack of enthusiasm. I had plenty of years ahead to have pups, why does he want to rush into things? He always wanted to rush into things and in all honesty, it scared me.

“I’ll think about it,” Were his final words.

He wasn’t going to agree with this. From his tone, I knew his decision was final.

“It’s early in the morning, we need to eat,” Effortlessly, he lifted my body as if I was just a back of skittles. “We’ll eat together,”

I raised a questioning brow at him. “Can you cook?”

Basil grunted deeply, two lines forming between his brows. He looked utterly perplexed like I’d just asked him to figure out Einstein's equation. Without hesitation, I grabbed his hand and dragged him to the kitchen.

“I’ll make something for us,” I sighed.

He shrugged his fingers away from my hold and placed his hand on my hip, sending a gentle squeeze. His lips skimmed the outer shell of my ear before biting down slowly, weakening my knees as I stumbled slightly. Every sensation was more intense because of the full moon.

“I like you taking care of me,”

I stiffened, not expecting how tender his words were. Glancing over my shoulder, I gave him a small smile, feeling awkward and heated with embarrassment. Basil’s eyes glazed over and they lowered to my lips. Feeling my blush deepen, like the idiot I was, I pivoted on my heels and headed for the kitchen. His footsteps reached my ears and his eyes bore holes into the back of my head, to the point where I could combust into flames. What I’d give to read his thoughts. Quickly, he caught up to my pace without saying another word but the pull between us was electrifying.

Entering the kitchen, Basil sauntered towards the closets stool, making himself comfortable as he proceeded to watch me... again. It did nothing to ease my discomfort. Feigning ignorance, I moved around the kitchen easily and found the ingredients to make an omelette. Perfect! It was the only meal I could make without burning the kitchen down. The silence between us was deafening and for his large frame, surprisingly, he didn’t make a sound. Other than his scent, I wouldn’t have known he was in the room.

Elizabeth entered the kitchen a few minutes after, her dark skin glowing under the dawn’s light and I glanced over my shoulder as she strode over to my mate, kissing his cheek affectionately. His greeting smile was so faint I would’ve missed it.

Seeing a side of him this past couple of weeks made it difficult to believe he was completely feral. The way he treated his pack and his devotion were qualities I admired. He was the heart of his people, the light to their darkness. In a strange way, he was their salvation. I saw it in the way they treated him; I saw it in their eyes as if he was a saviour.

Underneath the hard edges of his exterior, his wolf clung to any traces of humanity lingering within. The human and the wolf were like the yin-yang; one couldn’t live without the other.

“Oh dear, what are you making?” Elizabeth concerned voice reached my ears and I frowned, shooting her a quizzical look.

“Breakfast?”

“You shouldn’t be doing that. You should’ve called me,” She shook her head, pushing me aside while she grabbed the chopping board and the bowl of cracked eggs. Stunned, I turned to Basil who only shrugged. Well, he’s of no help.

“Come here,” He rasped, patting his lap.

And I did not because of his command but my skin itched to be closer to him. I’d like to blame it on the Moon, or the pull twining us together, but I’d be lying. He was Alpha, just like I was, and naturally, I was attracted to him. My wolf found no other but him worthy of us.

Grabbing my waist, he lifted me onto his lap, entrapping me with his thick arms and placed a kissed on the back of my neck. Subconsciously, I leaned into him, revelling in his big frame encasing my smaller one, making me feel feminine. He played with the ends of my hair, his fingers brushing the tips of my breasts so innocently, I didn’t think otherwise. Elizabeth’s face softened, smiling before returning to the stove. We held each other like that – tuning out the noise surrounding us – and I played with his fingers while he continued to stroke my hair. It felt like a minute went by when Elizabeth placed our food in front of us with me having a smaller portion than Basil’s.

Absentmindedly, my index finger trail along the veins visible under Basil’s dark skin as I ate my breakfast, lost in my thoughts. The gentle rise and fall of his chest were soothing along with his deep breathing. His heartbeat was in sync with my own and it was strange hearing the slow, steady thumps. When we consummate our bond, his life will be my own, we’ll be one. I was desperate to hear his thoughts. It wasn’t fair he knew mine. He had twenty-four hours access to every secret, every desire which was frustrating.

I looked at him from the corner of my eyes as he glared at my half empty plate. What now?

“You didn’t eat enough,” He replied to my unspoken question.

“I’m full,”

“You need to eat more,” He grumbled, piling his food onto my plate hastily. “You’re too slim. Eat.”

“Basil!”

“Eat!” He snapped, his temper flaring in all directions.

“I’m full, honestly. Elizabeth, please try to talk some sense into him,” I shifted my gaze to meet hers which lowered to my stomach, and then my plate before meeting Basil’s eyes. Her response was delayed as they communicated through their mind-link. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what they were discussing.

“Just a little more,”

“Really?”

I was mad, boiling mad, about to blow the fucking roof off mad but Basil restrained my wrists. His taut arms were wrapped around my waist - he wasn’t going to let me go, not until I finished my plate. I growled and unwillingly complied, finishing my meal. His muscles relaxed visibly and he kissed the back of my head, rubbing my stomach fondly. I ignored the stutter of my heart. Ugh, not now!

He really wanted pups and I wanted to avoid them for a long time. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them; I wasn’t ready to be tied down, not yet. I didn’t know him well enough. I straightened my back as a question popped into my mind. How old is Basil?

“Thirty-five,”

I wasn’t expecting his answer straight away and I wasn’t prepared for the coughing fit that wracked through my body. Elizabeth glanced over in concern as Basil patted my back. He was so calm about it. It was unnerving.

He was fourteen years older...

Turning on his lap, ignoring the thunderous hum in his chest, I eyed him warily. “When were you going to tell me this?”

“Does it matter?” He pulled me closer to him. “We’re mated for a reason, my age doesn’t matter,”

I heard a sharp intake of breath and realised it was the first time Elizabeth was aware of his age. She was probably calculating years back to his age when they first met. Soon, I heard her footsteps retreat from the kitchen, leaving us alone.

“And that reason is to give you an heir. Or at least, that’s my reason as your Luna,”

He paused, my words sinking in and he clenched his jaw, his eyes blazing with heat. “You’re much more to me than a title. I’m offering myself to make your heat easier, stop trying to resist me,”

“I’m not denying you but what comes after,”

“What comes after, no matter what birth control you use, is inevitable,” He growled. Confused, I frowned. What the hell does he mean?

Not leaving any room for discussion, he stood to his feet, forcing me off his lap as he towered over me. I had to crane my neck to get a better view of his face; I was a tall girl myself, 5′8 to be exact, but felt like a mouse compared to him, especially with his glare directed at me.

“I’ve gotta go,” He muttered, walking away without sending me one last glance, his muscles tensed with unrelenting anger he failed to hide.

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