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Chapter 5: Touchdown

“Didn’t expect to see you here,” he comments, causing me to jump out of my skin. I didn’t think to see him here so soon, or maybe because he anticipated me as a mate should. As I turn around, a smile spreads across his face as I can feel my wolf pawing to be let out and claim him as ours. “You finally came out of that shell of yours.” Augustus hands me a drink, looking back to the crowd doing a game of dares including shots. “I haven’t talked to you for what seems like weeks.”

He misses me.

“I’ve been busy. College and all,” I remark, wth as Augustus runs a hand through his blond hair, eyes eyes scanning my face. He feels it! He has to feel it, the mate bond, how he is drawn to me. My heartbeat increases, watching as he simply places a hand on my shoulder, sparks flying through my skin. He has to feel this! He has to feel the sparks!

“Have you seen Molly? She should be here by now?” The smile once upon my face falls down into a faint frown, the sparks feeling full now as Molly clouds my once happy thoughts. “I’m glad she talked you into coming tonight.” Anger. I want to unleash my wolf and claw that human into shreds and claim this man as my own. The need to find that human and tell her to back off, to tell her to never look back and leave Augustus to me...that need is building up inside of me and it frightens me. I have nothing against her other than my mate is helplessly in love with her and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. The only thing she has done is have Augustus fall in love with her...she’s never hurt me purposefully nor do I think she ever could. I can’t hate her. Damnit I can’t hate her because Augustus loves her, and that means I have to be kind to her. Because my mate loves her I have to respect that. Why? Because I love him.

Augustus walks off, leaving me behind as he searches the party for the redhead. Taking a swing of the beer he handed me, I head off to find my own muse for the night. I got here and it would be a waste of time to just leave now. Before Augustus fell for Molly, parties were a massive part of my life. Augustus and I were teammates for beer pong, we lost and and we won some as I remember feeling alive as he would pull me in for a tight hug if we won a game. It used to be fun going to these events, how I would partake in the dare games or even dance away with some friends from other classes. But it all changed when I saw him watched her the day I discovered who he truly was to me. My life flipped upside down and I pushed many people away without an explanation. How would you feel if the man you knew you were destined to be with loved another? If you had to smile and support them because you knew he was happy? It feels like a never ending war within you to either tell him how you feel and claim him...or sit back and watch as he writers another chapter of his life with you just in the background.

“Someone looks like they’ve had a rough day,” someone states from beside me. Looking to the individual, I raise an eyebrow at them, wanting to know what they’re up it. “I mean, no one has to get to know you to see that you’re looking miserable.” Gavin Knox stands beside me, leaning against the doorframe to the dinning room, his gray eyes locked on mine. He’s what you would think of as your stereotypical ‘bad boy’ based on the usual attire of a leather jacket and bruised knuckles from a fight, but after knowing him for seven years, you see he’s quite the mommy’s boy. Sure, he likes the daily fights and enjoys getting into trouble, but outside of school he doesn’t dare disrespect his parents or pack.

“Since when are you licensed to get into others business and state things that are not true,” I mumble, taking another swing of the beer as I find Molly, her back to me, chatting with an old friend of hers. “Everyone has their ups and downs, Gavin, and some choose to keep them secret.”

He chuckles, taking out his phone as the light illuminates his face for a quick second. Locking the device, he slides it back into his pocket, meeting my stare as a smirk forms across his face. We used to be running partners Freshmen year solely because we shifted into our wolves for the first time two weeks apart. We learned about our wolf forms together and became good friends. He’s one of the friends I pushed away months ago. “You look like shit, Amory, let’s get down to the basics here. I know you’re little secret just as Flynn does. A few of us are not too blind to see the fact that you’re heartbroken.”

“You have no idea what I’m going through,” I snap, my wolf wanting to surface.

“And how could that be? I’ve faced heartb-

“You’re mate isn’t in love with someone else, Gavin, now is she?” I snap, looking pack his shoulder to see his mate, Hellen, laughing at some joke as she looks beautiful. Hellen is my cousin and Gavin’s mate, both accepting one another a year ago. “You never watched Hellen fall in love with someone else and have no idea that you were more to her than just a friend, now did you?”

Gavin shuts his mouth, knowing anything he says, he can really have no insight in because he’s never experienced it. He’s never experienced what the hell I’m facing right now and have been for months. Looking to Hellen, I watch as she waves at me, one of the few females she trusts around her man. We grew up together for the most part, my mom and her dad siblings. Gavin nods his head, heading back into the room as he leaves me behind. I know I’m pushing people away, but when all they try and say is stuff that deals with what I’m going through, I shut off my ears. They don’t have any experience in my situation and I hope they never do.

“Amory.” I know that voice. “Hey, Augustus was looking for you, we want to know if you’d be up for some dare games,” Molly asks, a smile across her face as I know I cannot turn her down, especially when Augustus wants me there. She loves him, I can see it, I can hear it. The way she talks about him and looks at him. He has her and she has him. I don’t have either.

We head to the second floor of the house, into a storage room as seven other seniors are in a circle, a bottle of tequila and two shot glasses in the center. Already my wolf is unsure of what is to come tonight, knowing that these games can get pretty intense. Taking my seat, Augustus smiles at me, causing my heart to swell and my wolf to jump with glee. The rules are stated, that you either take the dare or you take two shots. Simple to understand, but you also have to know your alcohol limit. It’s harder than it looks, because you have to understand that if you take the shots early on and aren’t in the right state of mind in the later rounds, who knows what kind of dare you’ll agree to. Know your limits. It’s more like chess than checkers. To win? Don’t fuck up. You fail a dare and you are thrown into the pool outback.

“Let’s start,” one of the guys states, staring off the challenge with a spin of the bottle. Whoever the bottle lands on, they do the dare, then they spin the bottle and pick the dare for the next and so forth.

After the third round, I’ve done minor dares such as switching the music downstairs to tasteless music, smashing a beer bottle on a jock’s head (who thankfully was a wolf), and was thankfully missed the third round. With no alcohol in me except for the beer, I’ve watched one human girl already take four shots and turn down a dare, two of the guys carrying her out and throwing her into the pool. With one down we play again.

By the time I’m watching one of the girls spin the bottle for her victim, my eyes meet Augustus’s stare. He’s been watching me ever since he took his first two shots in the fourth round. As the bottle keeps spinning and spinning, our eyes never leave one another’s, as if locked in some trance. It’s the mate bond. I know it is.

The bottle lands on Augustus. He’ll take the dare. He’s competitive when he’s had a short or two. “Augustus,” the girl, who I have believe is called Maddie, announces, a small smirk crossing her face. She’s up to something. Looking my way, she offers me a sly smile, opening her mouth to tell the dare. “Make out with Amory.”

A few guys hoot in the room as my skin is drained of all of its pigment. I watch as Augustus’s eyes widen and Molly, Molly a bit tipsy from her three rounds of shots as she doesn’t think much of the dare.

“Do the dare or take the shots. You can’t fail this one and be ejected from the game,” Maddie informs. But Augustus understands the risks of another two shots. Another two shots and he’ll be far gone for sure. He’s human and has a weak stomach.

I watch as he slides over, my eyes wide as he takes in a deep breath. “Just a dare,” he mumbles, making himself certain as my heart falls a bit. This is just a dare and he’s tipsy. I’m just a dare and a drunk mistake. I’m just part of the game.

His lips meet mine and sparks fly through my body, my skin on fire as I feel like I’m on cloud nine. Touchdown! It’s all I want. It’s all I want to remember. I want to always remember that I kissed my mate, even if it’s not a true kiss. Even if there’s no passion, desire, or even care involved. As Maddie calls that the time is up, Augustus pulls away and everything seems to slow down. I know he felt it. He felt the sparks and the ignition within his heart. But when he thinks about it, he will only remember it as a drunk dare.

As Augustus takes back his seat and spins the bottle, I look to Molly. Her eyes are on him, a firm line on her face. They will be good in the morning when their heads are cleared up. She’s forgive him because she knows he loves her and it was just a dare. That it meant nothing. But it will never feel like nothing.

As the rounds pass and four more people are ejected from the game, I decide to end my turn. I let myself become checkmate as I’m thrown into the water and quickly resurface. I need to clear my mind for the rest of thought. I need to be free and forget the night. I didn’t take a single shot, I didn’t fail a dare either. I wanted to end the game.

As I head to my car, my phone buzzes. As I hope into my car and start up the engine, it buzzed again. Looking down I see the message from Augustus that shatters my heart.

It was a dare. It can’t happen again. I know it was a dare and you know we are best friends, but it can’t happen again.

I drive.

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