Chapter 32 - Afraid to Get Close
“I highly suggest we put him on trash-picking duty, that jerk needs to be shown who’s boss.” I state, glancing at a sleeping Kaden to make sure he doesn’t wake up.
“What is with you and putting people on trash-picking duty? And which boss are you talking about exactly?” Vulcan questions, raising a thick brow while he leans against the door frame, his arms crossed.
I scoff in disbelief over how clueless he is. “Me of course, who else?”
We’re talking about the burly man from earlier, whose name is Vitaly, I have learned. He has a wife and two kids, both in their teen years and nearing their first shift.
I felt queasy when Vulcan had explained to me in detail about the shift, every bone in their body will snap to accommodate the transformation and it could go on for hours before they finally turn into a wolf. The process itself sounds grueling.
I look back to Vulcan who rolls his eyes at my reply before pushing himself off the door frame. He’s wearing dark jeans with a white t-shirt that does nothing to hide the contours and planes of his muscled body, outlining every ridge and dip.
His eyes have returned to the familiar bright green that I love and his tousled brown hair hangs on his forehead in a messy fashion. All in all, my Alpha mate is so painstakingly beautiful that my heart hurts sometimes, in a good way, to think that he’s all mine.
Looking away before I’m caught, I focus my eyes on the healing gash on Kaden’s arm. I feel guilty for sleeping the day away whilst he was getting beaten for something that he didn’t do. I believed him when he said that had no intentions to harm me. Based on his behavior since the day we met, I know we’ll always remain good friends regardless of these titles.
Sighing, I run a hand through my loose black curls, playing with the ends whilst my mind is plagued with how quickly my life has turned around. After I moved to the US, I had quite literally walked into the supernatural world. Now, I understand why I felt so overwhelmed at the thought of Vulcan and I moving so fast back then, how I felt unsure if I should be falling for him so fast in such a short amount of time.
It was a roller coaster from there, with him becoming very overprotective and keeping me in his house to Colton attacking to this. I wonder what else life has in store for me, whatever it is, I hope it’s good.
“How did the pack not smell that that Kaden is a rogue? I thought supernatural creatures have scents?” I frown, looking to Vulcan in confusion.
He shakes his head, running a hand through his already tousled brown hair. “I don’t know. The only thing Indigo and I can think of is that he has Alpha or Beta blood but chose to become rogue. Some children of Alphas and Betas in neighboring packs attend the same school so, we just assumed it was their smell on you whenever you would come home. Theo thought he was one of them. But we’ve only sensed a glimpse of how much power he has when he was fighting back in the cells.”
“You’re still not off the hook for that.”
He huffs, glaring at me like a child who was just told that they’re grounded. I stare right back and cross my arms, daring for him to argue with my eyes. After a long while of just glaring at each other, I roll my eyes and look away, hearing him growl lowly at my dismissive action.
“Let’s go, Aurora.” I’m brought out of reading my book, my eyes snapping over to Vulcan who is waving me over.
“What - no! I’m staying until he wakes up.” I shake my head, making myself as comfortable as I can in the chair.
“We can come back when he wakes up -”
“I want to stay, I promised I will be here for him.”
His eyes blaze in anger but it doesn’t strike fear in me, I ignore his heavy glare and focus my attention back on the book before me, trying to once again get lost in another world. From the corner of my eye, I see him take steps towards me until he stands beside my chair, boring holes into my head.
“Why do you care so much for the mutt?” He growls out, glaring daggers at a sleeping Kaden when I glance up at him.
“Don’t call him that.” I snap, placing a bookmark between the pages, knowing this is turning into a lengthy discussion. “And I care because he is my friend who has been nothing but kind to me. He may be titled as a rogue but he certainly does not act like the ones you have described.”
“You don’t know rogues like I do, Малышка. They leave the pack because they are not in the right state of mind. He could have some ulterior motive to hurt you in the future and this could all be some facade!” He paces at the foot of the bed, a calculating look in his eyes. (Little one.)
I sigh in exasperation. “Not all rogues can be bad Vulcan, some may have left their pack because of personal circumstances. Please, just give him a chance. You said it yourself that he might be of Alpha or Beta blood.”
His chest rumbles with a growl that doesn’t escape his lips, dying down when he pinches the bridge of his nose and walks over to where I sit, crouching down and gripping the back of my neck to press our foreheads together. I can see the concern in his eyes and the distrust of me being around Kaden, I can only hope that he notices the belief I have in my friend and the pleading look in my eyes, begging for him to ease up on him.
“You are important to me, mate. I don’t want him to hurt you when I have a chance to stop it from happening beforehand.”
“If he does anything that seems off, which will never happen may I add, you’ll be the first to know. Until then, please don’t threaten or hurt him?” I widen my eyes, smirking internally when the hard look in his eyes softens. “You said you trust me, Vulcan.”
“I do, it’s just hard when all I want to do is protect you.” He lets out a growl of annoyance before nodding the slightest bit, making me squeal and hug him tightly.
I hear him mutter something under his breath and pull back to gaze into his eyes, our lips just a breath away. The green makes way for specks of burning gold making me marvel at the sight...before we’re interrupted by a pained groan and I shoot back, looking to the bed and watching as Kaden covers his eyes with his arm.
“If you’re going to start making out, please go somewhere else. I’m already mentally scarred for the rest of my life.”
“Gladly.” Vulcan mutters, trying to pick me up from my chair making me smack his hands away.
“How are you feeling?” I ask softly, as if he might break if I raise my voice.
I stand, leaning over the bed as Kaden puts his arm down. His eyes are tired but the blue in them still shines bright. Hearing a scoff and grumbling from behind me, I turn around to arch a brow at Vulcan who is now sitting in the seat I had occupied before, huffing when he glances at me and looks away. I bite my lip to stifle a laugh at how cute he looks when he’s jealous. Turning back to Kaden, I smile and help him sit up, a low groan escaping him.
“Better,” He starts before his lips quirk. “But I might need you to nurse me back to health.”
A loud growl resounds throughout the room and I press my hand to Vulcan’s chest when he curses and lunges forward. He grabs my arm in return before pulling me back to the chair and settling me on his lap, his arms winding around my waist to rest against my abdomen tightly. Yep, the Alpha is clearly jealous.
I shake my head at both men who are now glaring at each other, before Kaden winks at me just to rile my mate further. It works, making him snarl at him in distaste before nuzzling his nose into my hair and breathing in my scent to calm himself down.
“Stop it.” I warn Kaden, before letting a smile bloom on my lips when he only chuckles in reply.
As Kaden and I converse about his health and when he will be discharged, I glance back at Vulcan to see that his eyes are glazed over, meaning he is talking to someone through the mind link. After a moment, he picks me up and places me on the chair, running a hand through his hair as he glances at Kaden with narrowed eyes.
“I need to go; something is going on at the pack border.” He mutters, his eyes meeting mine again.
“Oh! Can I come?” I ask eagerly, wanting to explore the territory a bit more.
“Absolutely not.” He replies sternly, crossing his arms like he usually does when being serious. “It’s not safe.”
I pout up at him before mumbling in agreement, knowing no matter what I say, he won’t allow me to go. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop persisting though, I have to see it at some point. His lips quirk slightly in satisfaction before they thin again, his features returning to stone as his eyes glaze once more.
Suddenly, he leans down and grips my chin, pressing a firm kiss to my lips making Kaden yell at us to “get a room,” whilst I blush in embarrassment. Vulcan pulls back with a smirk sent his way making me roll my eyes at the action.
“Don’t stay here long. I’ll see you later.” He murmurs gently in my ear before kissing my temple and leaving the ward.
I watch him go until he disappears around a corner, turning back to Kaden with a sigh only to catch him already staring at me with sadness and longing in his eyes. I wiggle my brows, mouthing ‘what?’ to which he just shakes his head in reply, a bitter laugh escaping his lips making me frown at him in confusion. He’s acting very strange.
“You love him, don’t you?” He questions softly, making me freeze and look at him with wide eyes.
“I do.” I smile happily, before quickly changing the topic. “So! Since you too are a werewolf, that means you have a mate out there, right?”
He smirks, although it’s etched with pain as he shakes his head. “Like your mate said before, I’m a rogue Aurora. And rogues aren’t destined for mates.”
“What?” I breathe in shock, staring at him in surprise. “Why not?”
“Most rogues leave the pack if they have lost their mate, thrown out for plotting against the pack or...” He trails off with a dazed look in his eyes, before snapping out of it with an awkward cough.
“Or? Kaden, why did you leave your pack?” I ask gently, taking a seat on the edge of his bed.
He looks up with hard eyes, clenching his jaw tight before taking a hold of my hand. I remain quiet, letting him squeeze it painfully as he glances away with a reminiscent look in his icy blues. A long moment passes in silence, save for the beeping of the machines and the dull sounds of footsteps in the corridor outside the suite.
“My...My father was an Alpha. I was the only child, making me the heir. Everything was perfect, the pack loved my parents b-but one day, it all fell apart.”
I scoot up further until I’m sitting beside him, putting my arm around his shoulders as a means of comforting him. He leans into my embrace, a shuddering breath escaping him as he recalls the memories.
“My father...he turned greedy, he wanted power over the other packs. My mother tried to stop him, talk some sense into him but he was too far gone. He was not the man we knew anymore. He started training me but in the harshest of ways, he feared something...something was coming for him and he knew it. Whenever I refused to train because of exhaustion, I was punished. Things got so bad that he led the pack to the ground, he became a monster, he...he killed my mother.”
“Oh Kaden...” A loud gasp escapes my lips, tears brimming my eyes. His expression remains stoic though, as if he has re-lived this memory a thousand times and it doesn’t hurt him anymore.
“He killed the only good person in my life right in front of me, then threw me out of the pack for being a weak excuse of an heir.” Kaden growls, his form trembling with anger. “The pack was soon attacked because of my father’s inadequacy to lead. My pack was wiped out of existence, I didn’t have a home anymore. Nobody would take me in because I was that monster’s son and after being rejected countless of times by neighboring packs, I just gave up and became a rogue. It wasn’t my choice though. I was forced because I had nowhere else to go and nobody to rely upon.”
“That doesn’t mean you’ll never have a mate Kaden, don’t lose hope. I mean just look at Vulcan, he found a human as a mate. What are the chances of that?” I mumble as he leans his head against mine with a sigh.
“What can I give her Aurora? Nothing. I come from nothing - I am nothing. She won’t ever accept me once she finds out who and what I am.” He murmurs and I can easily detect the longing he has for a mate.
“She will. I am sure of it and if she has any doubts, just call me!”
He chuckles, making me smile in achievement over how I cheered him up slightly. “Oh really? And why should I call you?”
“Um...because I’m your best friend, duh.” I retort, a snort escaping him making me slap his shoulder with a playful glare.
“I don’t see you as my best friend though, I see you as something more...” He trails off, icy blue meeting grey before he murmurs in a low, husky voice. “I’ll steal you from Vulcan one day, Aurora.”
I stare at him in surprise, wondering if he’s being truly serious right now. But then, he bursts out laughing and points at my face saying how I’m so easy to fool. I roll my eyes, grinning at him as he shoots me a cheeky smile when I slap his shoulder.
“You’ll call me your best friend someday.” I state, a smile threatening to spread on my lips as he stares at me.
“Never, now stop asking my little grasshopper.”
“You will one day.”
“Uh huh sure, whatever helps you sleep at night.”
I’m huddled up on the couch in the living room with a blanket draped over me, keeping me warm in this cold weather. The television blares but my mind is elsewhere. It’s just after dusk and Vulcan has not yet returned, I had come back home from the infirmary a long time ago.
I’m brought out of my thoughts when Vanessa walks in with a large pizza box and a brown paper bag, yelling for me. When she notices me on the couch, a wide grin breaks out on her face, her dark brown eyes sparkling as she makes her way over to me.
“We have not caught up in forever girly!” She pouts, placing the food on the coffee table before slipping off her shoes and draping the blanket I hold out to her over her body. “Why are you sitting here all by yourself, you feeling okay?”
“Yeah,” I sigh, the delicious smell wafting up my nose making my stomach growl in hunger. The last time I had eaten was at a late breakfast with Vulcan. “Just needed someone to walk in with a pizza and bring joy to my world. Thank you, dear friend.”
Vanessa laughs, shaking her head before opening the pizza box. It seems like she has brought everything; plastic plates, cups, forks. She places a slice of meat-lover’s pizza on the white plate and hands it to me before giving me the bag of chips and a coke can. I hand her the remote when she gets settled, biting into my slice as she searches for a good movie that’s playing. When she finds one, she looks at me for confirmation making me nod.
“Vulcan is going to be a little late, Indigo is out there too and mind linked me. They’re talking to Kaden about his background, it’s necessary in these situations.” She explains, her voice muffled with the chips in her mouth. “So, I decided to get some grub and have a movie night with my girl!”
“Best decision you ever made!” I nod, holding up my can in the air and laughing when she clinks hers with mine in a ‘cheers’ motion.
An hour into ‘Bad Neighbors’ and the food is all finished, both of us leaning back against the couch with satisfied tummies. I chuckle at the scene playing, hearing Vanessa laugh at the same time.
“Damn, Zac Efron is one sexy beast!” She comments making me hum in agreement as our eyes refuse to stray from his chiseled abs
“The things I would do to that man.” I shake my head at the mere thought.
I frown when I hear something from behind, shrugging it off when Vanessa doesn’t look like she heard anything. Reaching into the bowl of popcorn, I grab a handful and stuff my mouth, arching a brow when she leans forward with curious eyes.
“Say if Vulcan found you and told you about you guys being mates but, you were able to date Zac. Who would you pick?”
I snort, looking at her with disbelief. “It’s Zac Efron, that man has come a long way from High School Musical and with that face and body, not dating him would be stupid.”
A growl rips through the air making me freeze and look at Vanessa with wide eyes, who stares back with the same expression. At the same time, we both look behind the couch to see an angry Alpha and Beta. I gulp when I see Vulcan’s angry expression, his eyes dark, Indigo the same.
Vanessa laughs sheepishly. “I didn’t say anything, babe. It was all Aurora.”
“Traitor! You’re the one who said he’s a sexy beast!” I gasp, pointing a finger at her accusingly.
“Well, well, well -” Indigo starts but is interrupted by me.
“Why you being all creepy bro?”
He glares at us when we laugh, imitating him in a mocking manner and making our pitches higher to resemble a little girl’s voice. I grin cheekily at him when he growls, telling us to shut up before crossing his arms in a huff when we only laugh harder.
“You,” He points to a giggling Vanessa. “March your cute little ass back to the pack house.”
I fake gag causing her to push me off the couch and onto the floor, tangled up in my blanket. I lie there chuckling, shouting out a goodbye to both as they leave the house, the sound of the door closing echoing throughout the quiet house.
I hear his footsteps making their way in my direction and soon, his head pops into my field of vision. Staring at him while he stands above me, I wave with an innocent smile. In return, he picks me up and throws me over his shoulder. He turns off the television and proceeds to carry me upstairs.
“Hey! I was watching that.” I whine, struggling to escape his hold.
He only slaps my butt making me shriek in surprise. I hold myself up by placing my hands on his shoulder to support myself whilst turning my head to look black and glare at him as best as I can.
“No touching! Put me down!” I kick my legs, hoping he’ll let me go but it’s futile when he only tightens his hold on my legs, restricting any movement as he continues upstairs.
I groan and let him carry me, grumbling about how I have yet to watch the ending of the movie. Soon, we reach the black double doors with intricate gold designs etched onto the surface. He pulls on the gold handle and opens the door, leading us inside before closing it.
I swallow hard when he locks it, heat suddenly spreading through my body. Making his way over to the bed, he throws me down on the mattress before gazing at me with bright gold eyes. My own lust heightens as I watch him pull off his shirt to reveal tanned skin and a muscular torso.
His hands reach down to grip my ankles and abruptly pull me forward till my butt rests on the edge of the bed. I sit up, my fingers trailing over the ridges of his abs, his own fingers moving up to untie my hair from the ponytail I had put it in. My hair falls around my shoulders, tickling my bare skin that is exposed by the halter neck of my dress.
His fingers tangle my hair into a fist and tug on it making me hiss softly. He leans down and trails his lips all over my face but avoiding mine entirely, pressing a kiss to the corners before pulling away when I turn my head to meet his lips. I whine in protest, glaring up at him which only causes him to chuckle.
“Patience, my little love.” He whispers, kissing the tip of my nose.
His hands trail down to the back of my dress, slowly unzipping me and making me more restless. I shiver when the material loosens, his hands pulling the top part away and exposing my breasts that are clad in a white satin bra. I hear him growl at the sight, my cheeks heating as I try to cover myself, too shy.
He slides the dress off me, goosebumps rising on my skin at the sudden change in temperature. I look away when he tilts my chin up with one finger and pulls my hands away with the other hand, a stern look in his eyes.
“Never hide yourself from me, let me see what is mine.” He growls lowly, satisfied when I nod.
I scoot back in surprise when he edges forward onto the bed, a predatory look in his eyes as if I’m his prey that he can’t wait to devour. A yelp escapes me when he leans down and nips at the skin on my collarbone harshly before biting and sucking on the curve of my neck.
I groan, my eyes closing in pleasure whilst he assaults my skin with his sweet lips. Tangling my fingers into his hair, I tug on it gently, eliciting a growl of approval from his lips. As he moves to hover above me, his legs on either side of me, I wrap my legs around his waist, pulling him down by the jaw to press my lips against his.
I have had enough of his teasing and kiss him passionately, my tongue swiping across his bottom lip as I pull on it before he opens with a groan, his tongue immediately battling for dominance. My nails dig into his shoulder, probably making half-moons onto his skin while he wraps his arms around my waist to pull me up in a swift motion.
I grind myself against his hard length making him release a loud growl, his nails digging into my waist. The air seems to pulse with electricity, passion sizzling between us. He pulls away, gasping and trails his lips down the curve of my neck to the top of my breasts, biting and sucking harshly on my skin and I’m sure there will be dark hickeys tomorrow. I moan, wrapping my arms around his neck and tilting my head back.
The sudden sharp sting on my skin has me yelping in shock and pulling back to look at him. I gasp at the sight of his elongated canines, unwrapping my arms from his neck quickly. His eyes are pure black with red streaks flashing through them, obviously struggling for control with his wolf and vampire side.
I’m not scared that he’s close to marking me, it’s just so sudden that I don’t know how to react. His beasts have risen to the surface and that’s making me nervous since Vulcan is not here anymore.
“V-Vulcan?” My voice comes out shaky as I glance down at his elongating claws.
His breathing quickens as he shuts his eyes tightly, a loud snarl escaping him before he wrenches himself away from me and uses his ability to speed out of the room. I sit there on the bed in shock, tears welling in my eyes over the thought that maybe I did something wrong.