She stared at me at a complete loss for words. I was right and she knew it. If I had rejected her then we couldn’t be this close together. There would only be pain and hurt, but instead there is fire and electricity.
“You know I’m right,” I said, my body still leaning over hers, “I can see it in your eyes.”
She took at deep breathe as we continued staring at each other. I watched as the thoughts whirled in her head as I became lost in the warmth of her eyes. The same eyes I memorized all those years ago. The same eyes I had held onto since the moment she left.
Convince her! Knox yelled at me before whining, I want my mate back.
So do I, I reminded him.
“How can I convince you?” I asked her, “How can I prove to you that it wasn’t me?”
She thought for a second, seeming to think over my question, “I don’t know,” she breathed out. She pushed away from me and walked to the middle of the room. She started playing with the bottom of her hair, a nervous tick she still has, as she thought about what to say, “I don’t know how you can prove it. I don’t know how to explain why I can still feel the bond.”
“Then trust me. You feel the bond because I didn’t break it. Please, trust me Ellie,” I pleaded with her, taking steps toward her again.
“God, I want to Axton,” she said, “But I’ve gone down this road before. When Reid found me, he convinced me that it wasn’t you. I wanted to believe it so much that I came back, only to see you wanting someone else. That wasn’t faked.”
“I don’t know how to explain that, El,” I told her, trying to make her see, “The only thing I can tell you is that it wasn’t me, and I’m going to prove it to you.”
“How are you going to do that?” she asked, her eyes staring into mine.
“I don’t know,” I closed the distance between us and wrapped my arms around her waist, “All I know is that for the last seven years, I thought rogues had taken you. Everyone told me that you were dead, and now that I have you back, I never want to let you go.”
“Axton-” she started but I cut her off.
“Just give me a chance, Ellie. One chance to prove to you that we are mates for a reason. One chance to prove to you that I have always loved you,” I pleaded with her, begging her to say yes. She bit her bottom lip as she thought while staring anywhere but my face. Slowly grabbing her chin, I lifter her eyes to meet mine, “Please.”
“Okay,” she whispered.
“What?” I said, shocked that she agreed.
“I’ll give you one chance,” she said. Grinning like an idiot, I lifted her into my arms as I hugged her close to me, taking in her scent as I did so. I gently placed her on the ground as I continued staring at her, “Please don’t make me regret this, Axton.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” I told her.
Without a second thought, I closed the distance between us and captured her lips with mine. Fireworks exploded through my body as I pulled her closer, her arms wrapping around my neck as my grip tightened on her waist.
It was like entering heaven as I moved my lips against hers.
Pulling back from the perfect bliss, I smiled like an idiot.
I finally had my mate back.
I couldn’t keep the smile off my face for the rest of the day. It seemed to be permanently plastered there. Ellie said she was staying, conditionally. She’ll give me a chance. Now all I have to do is find the proof of a witch, which turns out to be a harder job than I thought.
I tossed the fourth book of witch history into the ever-growing pile on the side of my desk. I have spent the last hour looking at texts of history and scanning over witch activity from seven years ago; I was getting nowhere with this.
A soft knock pulled me out of my thoughts and the door was gently pushed open, “Axton,” Ellie pushed the door farther, peeking her head into the room, “Is this a bad time?”
“Of course not,” I said quickly, pushing the paperwork aside, “What’s up?” She bit her lip nervously as I got up from my chair, “Ellie what’s wrong?”
“Oh god nothing,” she said quickly, putting her hands up as her way to reassure me, “It’s nothing bad. I just-“
“El, what is it?” I asked, getting a little nervous at her fidgetiness and hesitation.
“Well, actually, I have someone who would like to meet you?” she says. I give her a questioning look before she turned away and walks out of my office, leaving me a little confused.
What are you doing?! Follow her! Knox screams to me.
Quickly snapping out of my daze, I catch up to her right before she enters the den. Turning around quickly, she places her hand on my chest to stop my movement, “I am trusting you, Axton,” she whispers, “Please don’t break her heart.”
Leaving me with that, she walks into the room. I hesitantly stand in the doorway and take in what it is she is trusting me with.
Sitting in the middle of the floor is Zea. She’s playing with some toys I had Reid go fetch while she was sleeping so she had something to play with. Giving her a light smile, she turns her focus back to Ellie.
“Hey sweetheart, what are you playing with?” she asks as she sits down next to Zea.
“Just toys that Uncle Reid brought me,” she giggles, “Do you want to play, mom?”
“I would love to,” Ellie says, “But first, I have someone I would like you to meet.” Standing up to her feet, Ellie pulls Zea in front of her, “Honey, I would like you to meet you father.”
Zea’s eyes connect with mine as she takes in what Ellie said. Smiling still, I walk into the room and bend down to her height.
“You’re my dad?” her voice sounds shy and unsure.
Nodding my head gently, I answer her, “Yeah baby girl. I’m your dad.”
She looked down at the ground a moment before lifting her head back up to me, “Would you like to play too?”
“I would love to,” I tell her, looking back up to Ellie as her smile reflects my own.
“No! No! You’re doing it all wrong!” Zea yells to me as I try to mix the chocolate into the brownie mix.
“I’m following the directions on the box,” I tell her as she leans over the counter from the stool she is on to see inside the bowl.
“I’m afraid she’s right, Axton,” Ellie comments as she walks up next to me to inspect the issue, but I can see her trying to hold in a laugh.
“And what per say is so wrong?” I ask her, completely bewildered on how there is a wrong way to make brownies.
“Do you want to tell him Zea or shall I?” she laughs, turning to our daughter.
“I do!” she yells, “First you have to add the sugar and eggs, or it tastes all mussy.”
“But aren’t they all mixed together anyway?” I ask, confused by why the order matters.
“Because it tastes different,” Ellie whispers to me before removing the bowl from in front of me, giving me an award-winning smile as she did so.
“I don’t see a difference,” I tell her as I move closer to her, grabbing her waist and turning her to face me.
“Of course you don’t, but you’re just going to have to trust me,” she says as she places her hands on my chest. I lean closer to her, but the swinging of the kitchen door brought us out of our serene.
“I heard she was back!” the intruder yelled, laughing.
“Rolfe,” Ellie turned away, smiling toward him as she escaped my hands to greet my uncle.
My Uncle Rolfe was my father’s brother and beta. He was there for me when my father died and when I lost Ellie. He helped raise my sister. He was the only family we had left after my mother and father passed.
“Oh, I heard you were back,” he smiled giving Ellie a huge hug.
“It’s good to see you Rolfe. I have missed you,” Ellie said as I moved to stand next to her.
He smiled as he released her from his hold only to turn on me, “Axton, how could you not tell me Ellie was hear immediately?” he questioned playfully, “You know she is my favorite niece next to your sister. Oh, and where is your daughter?”
I give him a questioning look. I hadn’t told him about Ellie being pregnant when she left. As far as I know, the pack still thinks Zea is Luna Layla’s, “How do you know about Zea?” I question him.
He seems frozen for a millisecond, but his face morphs so quickly it’s as if I imagined him thinking about it, “Well I was speaking to your beta last night about upping the security around the house and getting personal guards for both your mate and daughter,” he explains, “Once the rogues who have been attacking learn that you have a daughter, they will come for her and for your mate.”
I growled at the thought, pulling Ellie closer to me, “I won’t let that happen.”
“I know, and since I already knew that you would want a detail, I sent a few files to your office of guards. You can look them over later,” he tells me, “Now, do I get to meet her?” he asks Ellie.
“Of course,” she says, pushing herself out of my grasp and walking over to Zea, who is currently licking the chocolate out of the bowl of brownie mix. Her laugh sounded like the perfect song as she wiped the mess Zea made on her face.
“Zea, this is your Uncle Rolfe. Rolfe, this is Zea,” Ellie said introducing him.
“It’s nice to meet you, Zea,” Rolfe smiles at her, but Zea just looks at him with a strange expression before scooting back into the counter.
“Mom, can I go play with my toys?” she asks, moving further from Rolfe.
“Of course, sweetheart,” Ellie tells her as Zea runs out of the room, “I wonder what-”
“She’ll warm up to me,” Rolfe interrupts her, “It will take time for her to adjust to everything.”
Ellie nodded her head almost hesitantly, before looking off to the door Zea just went through, “Yeah, maybe.”
Rolfe went on to talk about something else, but I continued watching Ellie as she got a distant look in her eyes. Something was bothering her about Zea. She spoke so quietly, I almost didn’t pick up what she said even with wolf hearing, “Or it’s something worse.”