I slowly open my eyes to the little sunlight peeking around the curtains edges. A small smile pulls at my lips as I remember the happier of events yesterday and the dream I didn’t really want to wake up from.
My fingers raked down Thomas' back, eliciting the sexiest groan from him. His lips leave feather like kisses from my jaw down to my shoulder and back up. The tingles turn to fireworks as his hand grips my thigh, forcing my leg around his waist. My body arches into him and a low growl of approval sounds in the back of his throat.
My body feels so energized but confusion sweeps through me as I realize I’m alone. I sit up quickly, scanning the room, but still Thomas isn’t here. There isn’t even a trace of his scent.
I didn’t imagine him marking me, it happened! Didn’t it?
My feet barely touch the floor as I race to that bathroom. I cringe a little at my reflection. My hair is a birds nest and I quickly pull it into a messy bun.
There on my neck, is Thomas’ mark. My fingers trace the ridges of the scar as I admire how good it looks on me. I wonder if mine looks just as good on his. But where is he? Why isn’t he here with me?
Is he regretting marking me? I know he was upset but I just wanted to prove that I love him. I hope he doesn’t think that I tricked him into marking me.
I open the bedroom door, hell bent on finding him and making him explain why I woke up alone after marking each other, when a familiar scent fills my nose. My feet take off before my brain fully registers where we are going.
I take the stairs two at a time, before rounding into the kitchen straight towards my mom. She is nestled in my dad’s arms as Sam and Hannah are in Mason’s.
“Hailey!” Hannah screams in excitement but I beeline for my mom.
I watch my dad reluctantly let her go as she catches me in her arms.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help!” My mom rubbed her hand up and down my back in a comforting manner, shushing me as I sob into her shoulder.
“It’s okay, Babycakes. We’re okay. I’m glad -”
“Wait, Where’s Jake?!” I frantically search around the kitchen at everyone, but Jake isn’t here.
I can’t even smell him!
It’s like time itself slowed down. I can see mouths moving but the words don’t register.
My heart rate increases as flashbacks of the day Cade died, flood my mind. The pain, like a scar being slowly reopened, reminding me of what was loss. I clutch my chest, waiting for the blow that will push me over the edge. But instead, I am pulled into a strong, warm chest and brought back to real time.
“What’s wrong?! What Happened?! Are you okay? Hailey, Breathe!” Thomas cups my face in his hands.
His eyes are frantic as he scans every inch of me for an injury or something out of place, but when he finds nothing, his eyes meet mine again in confusion. When another sob escapes me, he pulls me tightly into him, and I bury my face in his chest. Everything about him brings comfort to me, his smell, the tingles, even the way he keeps repeating ’I’m here, just breathe. It’s okay”.
“Jake?” My voice is shaky as I clutch a fistful of his shirt, not letting him pull away for anything.
I catch a glimpse of my dad narrowing his eyes at us, but before I can question it my mom has her hands on my shoulders, trying her best to calm me even with Thomas doing the same thing.
“Jake’s fine, babycakes. I’ll take to you.” She wraps her arm around mine and leads me out of Thomas' embrace.
He stands to follow us but my dads' voice stops him.
“Actually Thomas, can you stay here for a minute.” My dads face was emotionless, but his tone left no room for argument.
I don’t know where Thomas was this morning or how he is feeling about everything, but when he nodded to my dad and then reached over and pressed a kiss to my forehead, hope surged through me that everything would be okay.
That we finally understand each other.
“So, you and Thomas.” My mom starts, wiggling her eyebrows with a light laugh.
My cheeks heat up as my free hand reaches for my mark. It’s kind of weird still to think about. I’m a marked wolf. Granted, we haven’t mated fully yet, it usually isn’t fair behind.
“Just, no babies yet please. Goddess knows I am too young to be a grandma!” If I thought my cheeks were red before, it is nothing compared to now.
My mom walks us towards the pack cells. I look to my mom but she has a smug smile on her face as her eyes keep glancing to my new mark.
“Why is Jake in the cells?” trying to change the subject discreetly.
Judging by my moms little snicker I failed, but she complied with my wish.
“Well, when they arrived to save us, a female rogue claimed that she was Jake’s mate and surrendered to him.”
“But Jake is only seventeen. He won’t know his mate for almost a year.”
“Yes, but she is eighteen.” The guards bow to us as we approach and they are quick to open the doors.
I never like the cells. The smell of blood and death hangs in the air like a bad febreeze. No matter what anyone does, we can’t get it out. It’s depressing.
My heart thuds in my chest when I see Jake sitting against the wall, with one arm in a sling and fresh cuts on his face. Thankfully they don’t look deep and shouldn’t leave noticeable scars. But I can’t help the guilt that floods through me. I should have been there to help.
“Jake.” I breathe as I walk towards him.
I gasp at the sight of a dark purple bruise around his eye and his slightly swollen lip. I pull his face into my hands, eyeing every injury with a heavy heart. I should have been there to help. I should have not been so caught up in my own unnecessary drama.
“Hails, I am fine. Stop looking at me like a kicked puppy.” He points into the cell “Hailey, this is Paige, my kind of.. maybe mate. Paige, this is my older sister Hailey.”
Before I can respond, the little brunette, with light brown eyes, does.
"Kind of, Maybe mate? Why would I Kind of, maybe lie about this?” She crosses her arms across her chest, and cocks her hip out to the side.
She may look tough, but I could see the hurt look in her eyes a mile away. I hear him mutter a curse under his breath, no doubt realizing his mistake without her having pointed it out.
Glad to know I am not the only one that messed up the first meeting with their mate.