I open my eyes and look around. No Josh. Last night’s events play back through my mind and a smile lights up my face. A knock sounds on my door and I look over. Josh is just walking in with a tray piled with food and Hannah following behind. I give him a funny look and look at my clock.
1:36p.m. What?! Hannah always wakes me up at 9 when she wakes up. Josh just kisses me as I go to open my mouth to say something. “I woke up early to take care of Hannah while you slept. I knew you needed it after our time together last night,” he says smirking as he sets the tray down on my lap, sitting down next to me. Hannah crawls into his lap as he throws an arm around my shoulders.
I look down to see 5 grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, 3 glasses of milk, 3 bowls of fruit, and a yogurt for me and my fruit. I smile and lean up and kiss Josh quickly on the lips. Hannah too busy eating her sandwich to care. I reach over and grab the remote on my stand. I hot a button and the t.v. comes down from the ceiling. I put on Scooby Doo and we all sit, eat, and watch. I look over to see Josh wiping crumbs off Hannah’s face. We can be a family I realize. Hannah already see’s Josh as a father figure and we both know we have feelings for each other. But one word stops me from going further. Hunter.
I know I love him still. I just don’t know what to do. He hurt me, a lot. How could I forgive him? We are colliding packs Friday and it is Monday. I have time to think so for now I will just relax and enjoy my time until the drama starts.
We finish the food and we all go down stairs. Hannah goes and plays as Josh and I wash the dishes. “Why did you do all of this?” I ask leaning against the counter after finishing the dishes. Josh looks over to me before walking over and wrapping his arms around me, pulling me closer. I giggle as he starts kissing my neck.
“I told you. We have a date and I wanted today to be perfect.” He says smiling widely, proud of what he is doing. He is from alpha line after all. Proud, cocky bastards.
“Well, when is this supposed date? And what exactly are we doing?” I say, he knows I hate surprises. He smirks, an evil glint in his eye. “You are going to make me wait, aren’t you?”
“Be ready in an hour! We are dropping Hannah off at your parent’s house. I called them earlier. Also Becky called from Hawaii, she said to call when we get back.” He says before walking off, but not before kissing my forehead. I sigh before walking upstairs. “Wear something casual!” Josh calls after me as I walk into my room. Locking the door.
I take a quick shower before throwing on a pair of matching lace underwear and bra, denim shorts, and an off the shoulder baby blue shirt. I put on my matching dark brown with light blue strap Hollister flip flops before going back into my bathroom.
I brush my hair and straighten it quickly. I put on some mascara and eye shadow.
“Knock, Knock!” Josh yells through my door, “You ready yet Nik?” I laugh at his silly actions and throw some clear lip gloss on before going to the door. I open it only to be engulfed in a hug.
“Josh, can’t breathe,” I say trying to push him off of me. He just laughs and gives me an apologetic look. “I’m sorry, I just have trouble being away from you for so long since yeah know. Shannon.” I hug Josh tightly.
“It’s fine Josh. Let’s forget it happened and go on our date,” I say and at that his face lights back up with one of his heart stopper smiles.
Josh takes my hand and leads me downstairs where Hannah is waiting by the door all dressed and ready to go. I smile and pick Hannah up. We walk into the garage and get in the jeep.
Josh drives us over to my parents and I get out and unbuckle Hannah. I walk up to the door, hand in hand with my daughter. My mother opens the door like usual before I even reach the porch. Hannah runs over and hugs her yelling, “Grandma!” I laugh and hug my mother. “Thank you so much mom. This means a lot.” She just laughs it off.
“I missed her first 4 years, I don’t want to miss the rest.” I give her an apologetic look before kneeling down in front of Hannah.
“We will be here to pick you up later sweetie. I love you,” I say kissing my daughters forehead. She hugs me and whispers in my ear, “I love you to momma, more than anything in the whole wide world.” I smile widely and kiss her forehead again. Hannah walks over to my mom as I walk back down the steps to the car. Hannah and mom wave as we pull out and go down the road
“So, are you going to tell me where we are goi-“I didn’t even have to finish my sentence already knowing where we are going. “You have got to be kidding me. The fair?!”
Josh gives me a shy look. “We could have brought Hannah you know,” I say looking at him. He gives me a sheepish look. “I’m sorry, but I wanted it to be just us and you know we can’t ride all the rides if she is with us.” I smile nodding in agreement. “Also I remembered you have never been to a fair since you were like 15 so I decided we should.
“You really remembered that from 4 years ago?” I say my face has shock written all over it. He nods and pays the ticket person the amount for a car.
He quickly parks and we get out of the car. I stretch hating to be sitting for too long. “Can we go for a run when we get home?” He nods giving me a relieved look. I guess both of us have kept our wolves caged for too long.
Josh takes my hand and leads me into the fair. “How about we go grab the ride bracelets and ride some rides?” Josh says and I nod eagerly at him. We walk over to the booth and order two all day ride tickets and put them on.
“Let’s go on that one!” I say pointing to the rollercoaster that is flying above our heads. Josh face pales as he looks down at me. “What? Are you scared Joshy poo poo?” Josh’s face gets red and he stomps off to the line. Alpha’s and their huge ego, but you got to love them.
As we exit the ride Josh looks pale. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” I ask him and he nods life re-entering his face. “Fine, what’s next?” I point to the spinning space ship and he groans loudly. I just laugh, maybe a little to evilly though.
As night falls on us we finally settle down and decide to eat something. “You know, you my dear are going to be the death of me. You made me go on every ride here! Twice!” Josh says complaining as we wait for our orders. Josh got 2 bacon cheeseburger, fries, steak and a large mountain dew. I myself got junk food. A caramel apple, cotton candy, chocolate covered strawberries, and fried dough. Oh and you can’t forget my large Dr. Pepper.
“You are going to have a stomach ache after all that junk,” he says eyeing my full arms. I just laugh as I set my food down on one of the tables. “Hey! Just because my figure is perfect doesn’t mean anything. I will run off all these calories tonight anyways. You know that. Being a werewolf does have its perks.” I say as I dive into my cotton candy. As I finish the last of my junk the sun is about to set.
An idea pops in my head. “Oh, Josh. We didn’t go on all the rides.” I smile as I drag him off towards the ride.
“Really Nik? The ferris wheel? Isn’t that for like teenagers who date for a week, exchange I love you’s than break up and it is the biggest heartbreak ever? You know that is really dumb of them now that I think of it. Wait, I’ve always thought of that. Al-“ I cut Josh off as my lips connect with his just as the sun goes down and the stars start to shine.
I slowly pull away and look up to see a huge smile on his face and happiness evident in his eyes. “You realize how cliché that just was right?” Josh says leaning his forehead on mine. I smile before crashing my lips to his once again. He immediately responds. His lips are soft as they move expertly with mine. He licks my bottom lip, and as I was about to open.
“Um…excuse me the ride is over. Get out.” A rude, burly man, with a Hawaiian shirt says and points to the exit. My cheeks blush bright red as I see that everyone is staring at us. Josh just laughs before picking me up effortlessly and walks us out of the ride. “You know I can walk right?” He just shakes his head and pretends I can’t walk.
“Come on Josh! Where are we going now?” I say as I try hitting his very muscular chest trying to get down. We were walking towards the jeep, but he took a complete right turn. “Josh!!!! Come on!! You know I hate surprises and being treated like a child!”
After a couple more seconds I give up realizing he is just going to ignore me and lay my head against his chest.
“Nikki, wake up. We’re here,” Josh says and I open my eyes realizing I fell asleep. I look around to see the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It’s a clearing with many beautiful flowers that seem to glow in the moonlight and it looks like Josh hung up twinkly lights all around on the trees. But the best part is, is the blanket and picnic set out right under the stars.
“Do you like it?” he says as he puts me down on the blanket. I look up at him from my sitting position and shake my head. His face falls as he begins to apologize, “I’m so sorry Nikki! I though-“ I cut him off quickly before he does something stupid.
“I don’t like it, I love it! Thank you so much!” I exclaim and his face breaks into a happy grin before he tackles me so I’m laying down.
“I love you so much!” at this, I freeze. What? Josh…loves me? Well, I kind of knew that, but the question is…Do I love him? I think back to when we dated in college. I loved him then, and I was willing to give up my mate for him, but. Do I feel the same now? I don’t know. Can I give up my own mate? My destined partner? Only time will tell I guess.
Josh senses my not wanting to say it back and laughs. A fake laugh if I may say. “You don’t have to say it. I know. Everything is tough right now. But you will have to figure it out one day though. Right?” I nod not wanting to hurt him. I really just don’t know how I feel.
“Let’s eat!” Josh exclaims opening the picnic basket. Only to bring out ingredients to make a sandwich. “Your such a dork, only you would eat a sandwich on a date.”
He chuckles before handing me the bread. “Make me a sandwich! Make it good also!” I just stare at his smiling face as it slowly turns into a frown. “I mean…you don’t have to if you don’t want to…” I burst out laughing unable to hold it in any longer.
“You do realize that you sounded like one of those weird teenage boys that make their girlfriends do everything while they play Xbox just now?” He thinks for a moment before joining in on my laughter.
“But seriously, can you make me a sandwich?” I just laugh and start making our sandwiches.
“Josh, why do the flowers glow here?” I ask picking up one of the flowers that glow in the moonlight. A sad expression flashes over his face before it disappears again.
“There called moonbeams. They say the goddess herself made them to emphasis he work on land and not just animals. They are supposed to signify reassurance from the goddess. That no matter what happens she is looking out over her children. They also say this is where she comes when she becomes a wolf during the blood moon.” He says looking up to the moon. The moonlight making his hazel eyes shine and his face light up.
“How do you know this?” I ask as I look over at him. He frowns before turning back to me.
“Before you came back I was waiting for you. I already talked to your parents. I was staying in a hotel in town. So on one of my runs one night I came across this. And I felt, I don’t know. Reassurance? That everything would be okay without Shannon. I would be happy again soon enough. Afterwards I went to one of the pack elders in your pack and found out what they were. So ever since I have come here every time I go for a run.”
I squeeze his hand as a tear slips from one of his eyes. I reach up with my other hand and wipe it away gently. “I’m sorry you lost her. I know you loved her. It is just instinct to love your mate I guess.” I say thinking about Hunter. The first time I laid eyes on him, I know I had fallen head over heels for him. Seeing Josh and Shannon together made me want to find my mate, but knowing what would happen I would have avoided everything. Mates are complicated and the bond between them are just unreal. How could you love someone the first time you meet them?
“Can we go for a run now?” I ask as I put all the leftovers back in the basket. Josh nods before standing up and pulling me with him. I fold the blanket and set it in the basket as well. “Who’s carrying it?” I ask and he just points to himself. I quickly undress and put my clothes in the basket.
I close my eyes and think to my wolf. She lets out a happy bark as I feel the change spread throughout my body. The first shift is always hard, but after it’s like a breeze in the wind. Warm and soft. I feel my knees pull in, my back change into that of an animal, my face contorts into a snout and finally the fur the seeps through my skin.
My fur is the only thing I have never actually understood though. Usually your fur is whatever your hair color is, but mine is the total opposite. My hair being a dark brown originally is a golden blonde in wolf form. Which is very uncommon in wolves. I am the only one that is like this that I know of. Everyone that I know that knows of my fur is stunned usually. My fur is like the sun on a nice day and makes my fur shine.
Josh nudges my side and we start running. Maybe, just maybe Josh will be the one. Be the one I need.