Chapter 30 - Discoveries
When we land in the US, Mr Alvaro explains that a bus is waiting to take us back to the school so it’ll be easier for parents to pick us up. We have been riding in the vehicle for quite a while now and I’m starting to get restless from sitting too long.
The bus finally pulls into the parking lot of the school making me sigh in relief, my butt has been numb from sitting for hours on end, only getting up for a bathroom break if we happened to stop anywhere before we moved on again. I look out the window, trying to see if Vulcan has arrived yet to pick me up but, his car is nowhere in sight. Shrugging, I pick up my backpack and make my way off the bus, thanking the driver before pulling my duffel bag out of the trunk.
Sophia and Alex offer me a ride back but I decline, explaining how Vulcan is on his way to pick me up. Kayla and Max hug me goodbye saying they’ll see me tomorrow and Theo whispers in my ear, mindful of the students around us, that Vulcan is stuck in traffic so I’ll have to wait just a little longer. I nod, bidding him goodbye and watch him walk off to his car. He has to drive somewhere else before going back to the pack house otherwise I would have caught a lift with him.
Soon, the bus leaves along with the students and Mr. Alvaro, who has gone inside the school, and now it’s just Kaden and I. We lean against the wall of the school, our bags thrown on the ground beside our feet. The wind blows gently, the cloudy grey skies a stark change from the sunny weather in Rome.
“You can go if you want, my ride’s just a little late.” I look up at Kaden, scowling when he pulls out a cigarette.
He smiles sheepishly before tucking it back into the box, knowing how I can’t stand it. “The Sensei never leaves its grasshoppers alone and defenseless.”
“Alright, listen here buddy,” I push myself from the wall and poke a finger to his chest. “A ninja is simply never alone and defenseless as you so put it. You can’t claim to be a ninja without mad fighting skills, which I have.”
I ignore the sound of a car pulling in and parking, thinking it must be some teacher or janitor. Instead, I focus on Kaden’s skeptical stare, whilst he dusts imaginary lint off his leather jacket before looking at me with a raised brow. Although, I know he’s joking, I take this very seriously.
“You only call yourself a ninja, you don’t possess the skills that come with the title.”
My jaw drops at his accusation, he isn’t aware of the countless of pranks I have pulled that were downright genius! I curse at him before charging forward, but before I can land a hit, he picks me up and throws me over his shoulder whilst laughing loudly as he twirls us around. I chuckle, slapping his back in return and telling him to let me down. Instead, he pulls me down and carries me in his arms, bridal style making me dizzy as the world spins around me. Squealing, I clutch his arm, telling him to stop when I feel a nauseous feeling creep up in my belly.
He has just set me on my feet when a thundering roar echoes through the quiet school yard, causing us to freeze while our heads snap towards the sound. Oh shit! I think when my eyes meet furious red ones.
He’s being held back by Indigo and Nikolai, half morphed into his deadly beast with elongated canines and claws, his muscles strained whilst he shakes uncontrollably. I thought I had seen Vulcan furious before but clearly not since this is the angriest I have seen him be. He looks ready to destroy anything that obstructs his path with the way he glares at us, completely livid.
I let out a cry of surprise when Kaden pulls me behind his body, hiding me from Vulcan’s sight which causes him to let out a snarl so loud, I have to cover my ears whilst the others only grimace as if they have heard it many times before. For a split second, I wonder where Mr Alvaro disappeared to, because with Vulcan’s volume he would be rushing outside any second now.
“Get away from my mate rogue, she’s mine!” Vulcan growls loudly, chest heaving up and down in rage.
I gasp, looking up at Kaden in shock when he turns to stare at me with the same expression. He’s a rogue? But how? His eyes don’t change colors nor does he growl like the others. He doesn’t showcase any of the behaviors that the other wolves do.
“You’re a werewolf?!” He whisper-shouts, his blue eyes still holding surprise and shock in them.
“What – no! I’m human.”
“Please tell me I haven’t been hanging around the King’s mate.” He groans, rubbing his hand down his face in frustration.
“Unfortunately, you have.” I smile, shakily. “Please tell me you’re not a rogue who plans to kill me to bring said King down.”
“I cannot believe you just said that -”
“Well sorry, but you’re not the one walking around with a huge target on their back, are you?! Cut me some slack.” I exclaim, slapping his shoulder.
“Have I hurt you?” He deadpans, crossing his arms in an intimidating manner while he stares down at me with steely eyes.
“No.” I mumble, kicking a pebble with my shoes before sighing loudly. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have judged so fast. You’re right.”
I look down, sheepishly. Learning that he is rogue, I immediately classed him like all the others I have heard about from the guys, not once thinking about how he has been nothing but nice to me ever since I met him. I hear him let out a breath of air before telling me it’s fine.
“Okay, I want you to listen closely.” He starts, making me look up at him in confusion. “Your mate looks ready to rip my head off and I do not want that happening simply because, I have no intentions to harm you in any way...which he thinks that I will. You’re a good friend of mine and I plan to protect you rather than throw you to the rogues at the first opportunity.”
I nod, hugging myself in an effort to calm my breathing, which is labored because of all the growls and snarls I can hear coming from Vulcan. His anger only makes me more nervous and I’m not sure I’ll be able to calm him down like the other times. I mean, when he’s in overprotective or territorial mode it’s easier to calm him but now, seeing him this angry makes me doubt myself a whole lot more.
“Keep your hold on him; let him feel your touch, kiss him, hug him, do anything to keep him from going wolf because there are security cameras to the forest area which is the first place he’ll run to if he shifts. The ones facing us are out of order, thankfully. Understood?” He explains, continuing after I nod. “When you manage to calm him down, he’s going to turn possessive and territorial. Let him coddle you, don’t argue with him, don’t try to explain things when he’s calming down otherwise he’s just going to get angry again.”
“What if I can’t calm him down?” I croak weakly, a lump forming in my throat at the mere thought. “I’m scared, Kaden.”
“You will, Aurora. You’re his mate, all you must do is be near him to calm him down. The bond is a very strong connection, I’ve heard.” He chuckles, glancing to the left where Vulcan has escaped from the boys’ grasp and is now storming towards us.
Kaden motions for me to go to him with his hand, making me shudder in fear. Nevertheless, I step forward, watching as Vulcan’s obsidian eyes lock onto my figure whilst stopping where he is. They continue to follow me, abrupt growls escaping him when he glances back and forth between Kaden and I.
It seems like I have moved too quick for I soon find myself standing in front of his livid form. I look up at him while he stares right back, his head cocked to the side as if contemplating what my next move will be. I slowly move my hand forward and grab his large, shaking one, intertwining them both and rubbing the pad of my thumb over his skin.
He growls lowly making me squeeze his hand, my gaze sliding from his hardened features to his tense shoulders before moving back to his heaving chest that alerts me that he is nowhere close to relaxing. Sighing, I wrap my arms around him causing him to freeze whilst I nuzzle my cheek against the fabric of his shirt.
He snarls before his hands grip my thighs and hoist me onto his waist, his arms crossing over my back and one hand tangling itself into my hair. Looking up at me with dark eyes, I watch in amazement and slight fear as red flashes through them before he leans forward and breathes in my scent.
Remembering what Kaden had said, I kiss his temple causing him to growl lowly, his nails digging into my back making me wince in slight discomfort. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I can feel the tension in his shoulders easing whilst he kisses my neck and inhales my scent deeply. I trail my lips down towards the corner of his lips making him pull away in expectation, nipping at his jaw first and when his hold tightens on me, I press my lips to his.
He kisses me back with hunger, effectively bruising my lips I’m sure. There seems to be something dark in the kiss, as if he’s claiming me and urging me to understand that I belong to him only. I gasp when he bites down on my bottom lip, hard enough to elicit a groan of pain from me. I can taste the blood immediately, the strong metallic tang bleeding into my mouth and onto his lips.
This isn’t him.
After a few moments, I’m finally successful in pulling away, gasping for breath as I rest my forehead against his. Looking up when he growls, I stare at his swollen lips when his tongue darts out to lick my blood off them. It seems like his vampire is present too. He leans forward and presses his lips to mine in a gentle kiss before pulling away.
I’m extremely uncomfortable at this point because the boys have witnessed this. So, I’m grateful when Vulcan hides my face in the crook of his neck possessively. Eventually, he lets me stand on the ground but still makes my body face his.
It’s quiet for a while and I know Kaden has not left by the way Vulcan snarls in his direction behind me. I look at Nikolai and Indigo pleadingly, who only send me a sympathetic smile in return before glaring at Kaden also. My breath hitches when Vulcan looks back to me, his head turning in a quick motion, eyes completely onyx.
“You are mine.” He growls possessively, body trembling under my touch. “Say it.”
“I’m yours. Only yours, Vulcan.”
“Then what the fuck are you doing with him, Малышка? I see pictures of you two posing together in Rome, too close to each other.” He grips my chin when I look down, tilting my head up so that I now stare directly into his furious eyes. “Do I need to remind you that you belong to me and not that filthy mutt?” (Little one.)
“It’s not like that, he’s just a friend!”
His eyes turn ice cold at my words, face expressionless as if he has put on a mask. But, I catch a flicker of reminiscence and wonder if I have struck a nerve.
“Get in the car.” He orders harshly, not sparing me a single glance.
“Vulcan, just -”
“Aurora,” He grits out, shooting me a warning look. “I don’t want to hurt you, I want us to talk when I’ve calmed down. So, get in the car and don’t make me repeat it again, please.”
I nod before making my way to the car waiting for me, frowning when Indigo and Nikolai walk past me. Two other cars driving onto the school grounds has me turning back, my eyes widening in horror when I see them make their way over to Kaden, who looks calm unlike myself.
He catches my eye and shakes his head ever so slowly, warning me to remain quiet. Unfortunately, the action doesn’t go unnoticed by Vulcan, who uses his abilities and runs to Kaden, punching him in the face. I gasp, tears brimming my eyes at the sight of blood trickling down Kaden’s chin, the guards restraining me as I scream at Vulcan to let him go.
The guards push me into the car and start driving out of the school grounds, ignoring my protests. I turn and watch as Vulcan throws Kaden into the back of the Jeep, slamming the door shut before turning to Indigo and Nikolai. Eventually, the car and men are out of sight yet not out of mind.
It’s seven in the evening when I hear the front door open and slam shut. I had decided to wait outside his office, knowing it would be the place he would head to first. Scrambling up off the floor just as he turns the corner, I clench the hem of my sweater tightly as I stare at him. His eyes are emotionless as they regard me, as if I’m not even there.
“Can we talk now, please?” I beg, relief flooding me when he opens the door wider to let me in.
I take a seat on one of the couches whilst he remains standing, leaning against his desk. I notice the crystal decanter filled with a dark liquid, assuming it’s whiskey. He pours himself a drink but doesn’t take a sip, his mind elsewhere.
“Why didn’t you tell me about him?” He asks calmly, which honestly scares me a lot more than his anger.
I shrug, looking down at the blanket. “It never came up.”
“Kaden Reid is a fucking rogue, Aurora! You didn’t feel the need to tell me about him?!” He finally snaps, slamming his fist on the table and succeeding in making me jump out of my skin.
“I didn’t know he was a rogue!” I cry out in defense, meeting his eyes. Grey to green.
“Well neither of us knew and you could’ve been killed because of that! My own pack didn’t even know because he doesn’t even smell like one!” He runs a hand through his hair with a frustrated growl.
“He hasn’t hurt me since the day we met. I’m pretty sure if he wanted to cause me harm he would have already.” I argue, shaking my head.
“You’re not seeing him again.” He states, crossing his arms like he always does whenever he wants to intimidate someone.
I scoff at what he’s trying to do. “I am and you won’t stop me.”
He steps forward and leans towards me until our breaths mingle together. “You will listen to your mate and Alpha, Aurora.”
I roll my eyes before pushing him away. “In case you forgot, I’m a human so your titles don’t apply to me.”
“So you’re choosing him over your own fucking mate?” He seethes, fury blazing in his darkened green eyes.
“Don’t play that card with me. I’m aware of who we are to each other; what our bond means! Why should it matter if -”
“Because I love you!” He yells, his eyes burning with intensity. “Goddess, I’m so in love with you, but I’m fucking terrified at the same time.”
“What - Why?” I whisper as I stand slowly, taking baby steps towards him.
He chuckles darkly, torment in his emerald eyes. My breath hitches when he steps towards me, making me step back, and it continues that way until my back is against the wall and I have nowhere to go. His arms cage me in before I can escape, causing my heart to beat rapidly inside my rib cage, thundering away.
“You may think of me as a possessive male Aurora, but behind every action of mine screams a shattered soul. Every ounce of attention you give to another male makes me slip into the darkness that once took over when Elizabeth betrayed me.” He edges closer, pushing his body so close to mine that our lips are now a breath away. “My first mate didn’t want me, who’s to say you won’t leave me either? I can’t help the ache in my chest when I see you with someone who’s not me; terrified that they will take you from me. They can offer you the entire world and all I have is my fucked up past and trust issues. Why wouldn’t you want to be with another man?”
He laughs humorlessly, turning as he backs away to his desk. I watch in stunned silence as he takes a sip of whiskey, almost as if he wants nothing more than to drown himself in his sorrows. I didn’t realize just how deeply Elizabeth’s betrayal had wounded him, like she tore his soul apart and not just his heart.
“I love you too Vulcan, and I only want you.” I state softly, desperately wishing he would turn around and look into my eyes. “That’s the difference between Elizabeth and I. I love you for who you are, down to the tiniest imperfection. I’ll spend the rest of my days reminding you of that until it sticks.”
“It won’t.” He smirks ruefully, finally turning and leaning against his desk. “You think you can just patch me right up like a stupid teddy bear and I’ll forget everything that happened? It won’t work with me, Aurora.”
“Then, I’ll keep trying.” I state with resolution, stepping towards him cautiously until I’m standing before him, looking into his eyes as he towers above me. “I’ll heal you with every ounce of my love and I’ll keep fighting for you until my very last breath.”
He growls protectively at the mention of death, pulling me against him by my elbow. I smile softly, reaching out to cup his cheek and run my thumb across his lips that still linger with the taste of liquor. I find it endearing how he’s still overprotective even when he’s mad at me.
“I would never want to fix you Vulcan, you’re perfect to me just the way you are.” I murmur, pushing up on my tip toes and bending his head so I can press feathery light kisses to every inch of his skin.
“Aurora...” My name escapes his lips in a pained murmur, his voice on the edge of cracking.
“I love you.” I whisper in return, silencing him with a kiss to show him just how much.