"Your secret's safe with me."
Does that mean he didn't tell his pack who I really am? But why would he do that?
Maybe for the same reason I didn't tell mom that he's my mate.
I didn't reply to him because students started piling into the room, and soon the lesson started, passing by in a blur. By the time I was walking out of class I couldn't remember a word the teacher said, I was too distracted by Aj's comment.
"So what do we do now?" I asked, tugging on Aj's arm to get his attention as he walked out of class.
He shook his head, "I don't know."
I could see the conflict in his electric blue eyes, it probably mirrored my own, and I knew exactly why. We couldn't act like mates, but we also couldn't act like each other doesn't exist either. Every time I'm around him, some crazy forcefield pulls me to him, and it's getting harder to fight. But we would never be accepted as mates by our packs.
This must be what Romeo and Juliette felt like. Except that was a work of fiction and this is real. The Moon Goddess must be fond of Shakespeare. I'm not going to end up dead in the end though, I'll fight my bond with Aj, or keep it a secret, even if it hurts. Anything to keep our packs as peaceful as they can be to each other. No one needs to die because of us.
"Let's talk somewhere private." Aj suggested, breaking me out my thoughts and reminding me that he was right beside me.
I nodded in agreement and he took my hand to lead me out of the school, sending fireworks though my whole body. I'm never going to get used to the feeling I get from even the most simple touch from him.
Once we were a good distance away from the school Aj stopped walking and turned to face me.
"We don't have many options. Either we secretly see each other, or one of us rejects the other."
I knew those were our only options, but hearing them out loud tore me apart. My heart physically hurt from the idea of rejecting, and I fought back the urge to clutch my chest.
"Which one do you want?" I asked. There's no way I'm going to make the decision.
Aj thought for a long time before finally speaking, "Let's try seeing each other, and if it doesn't work out we can do the rejection."
I gave him a small smile and nodded in agreement. His idea was reasonable and definitely worth a try.
"Let's head back before someone catches us out here." He suggested, starting back towards the school without waiting for my reply.
I quietly followed behind him, stuck in my own thoughts. Do I want this secret mates thing to work out? Sure it was the better alternative to the pain of rejection, but was it wise? I've read too many books and watched too many movies that demonstrate exactly why this is never going to work, but just like all those characters, I was going to try anyway.
I was brought out of my thoughts when I crashed into Aj's tense back, taking me completely by surprise.
"What are you-" The question died in my throat when a familiar scent filled my nose, causing me to tense just like Aj.
"What the hell are you doing here Kyle?" I demanded when the cocky brunette stepped into view.
"I missed you, and I wanted to see how you were settling in." He replied, hands stuffed in his jean pockets nonchalantly.
"You need to go home." I said sternly, letting my alpha female shine through in my tone. Even though I wasn't alpha yet, my dad taught me how to demand the respect of my pack, and make them follow my commands.
He subtly flinched, taking a step back with his hands raised, and that's when he really noticed Aj beside me.
"What the hell are you doing with him?" Kyle's voice was angry this time, his brown eyes glaring as they flicked between Aj and I.
Before I could say anything, Aj had pushed me behind him protectively and took a threatening step towards Kyle. I could feel the anger and alpha power flow off of him in waves and I'm sure Kyle could feel it too.
"And who are you to speak to her like that?" Aj demanded, towering over Kyle as an intimidation tactic.
I gave Kyle props for how calm he stayed, even though I'm sure he was shaking in fear on the inside as he replied, "I'm her boyfriend."
"Ex-boyfriend." I corrected before Aj had a chance to get even more worked up.
"C'mon babe, the only reason we broke up was because you were moving. I don't think that's a good enough reason." Kyle looked around Aj to speak to me.
That's certainly not the only reason we broke up. Kyle had a bad temper, and he'd take out his anger on me, slapping me around when I didn't say or do the right thing. The reason that really pushed me into being a spy for my pack was so I could get away from Kyle.
"Don't call her that." Aj snapped, his hands clenched into fists as he attempted to control his anger.
Kyle completely ignored the angry future alpha in front of him, "Why are you hanging around him anyway, he's the enemy."
I froze, how did Kyle know that Aj was part of the Lasher pack? Was I missing something? Is it written on Aj's forehead or something? I still haven't figured out what the Lasher pack's thing is yet.
"I'm just taking care of business, now leave. I'll talk to you later." I answered, lying through my teeth.
"Your mom said I could stay at your house while I visit, so I'll meet you back there after you're done school." Kyle explained, walking away without waiting for my reply.
"Like hell are you staying under the same roof as him." Aj fumed, visibly shaking in anger.
I placed a calming hand on his chest, "Nothing is going to happen. Stop being so possessive."
It took a couple minutes, and a lot of deep breaths, before Aj finally managed to control his anger.
"How did Kyle know you were part of the Lasher pack? Everyone always told me that I would just know, but when I met you and everyone else I had no idea." I asked as we walked back into the school.
"Since our packs are sworn enemies, just seeing someone from the opposing pack fills you with range. But since we're mates, you're part of my pack in a way, so you didn't feel the anger and neither did anyone from my pack." He explained, his blue eyes examining my face as I took in this new information.
"But why did Kyle feel the anger towards you? You're technically part of my pack in a way too." I questioned, my eyebrows knitting together in confusion.
Aj shrugged, "It only works for females, it's to help protect them."
I sighed, hating how women were always seen as the weak ones that needed to be protected. We can take care of ourselves just fine. I'm living proof of that, being one of the best fighters in my whole pack. Combat isn't all about size and strength, if you can outsmart your opponent, you have a much higher chance of beating them.
"Oh, by the way." Aj spoke again, scratching the back of his neck sheepishly as he made sure I was listening before continuing, "I kind of told Mason you were a lesbian so he wouldn't try to hook up with you."
My jaw dropped and I completely stopped walking. He did what?
My shock quickly subsided, morphing into amusement, and I began to laugh.
"T-that's brilliant." I choked out between laughs.
Aj watched, completely bewildered, before chuckling along with me.
"But how are you going to stop the girls from going after you?" I asked once I sobered up from my laughing fit.
He found a way to keep the boys away from me, but I still have to watch girls throw themselves at him. That's not fair.
Aj shrugged, "You have nothing to worry about. It's not like I'm going to hook up with any of them or anything like that."
"I guess." I muttered, frowning. I hope our mate bond doesn't make me overly jealous whenever a girl bats her eyes at him. I'm not a jealous person normally, but who knows what will happen now that I have a mate.
"Hey, what's your pack thing?" I asked, changing the subject. Aj obviously knew my pack thing was the blood drop tattoo, since that's how he found out who I was, so it's only fair that I know his thing.
He looked over at me and rolled up the left sleeve of his shirt to show his bicep, "Our thing is a tattoo of the Greek symbol for saviour."
I traced the two arched lines that intersected, looking almost like a fish shape.
"Why?" I asked after a moment.
His eyes clouded in sadness, something they did more often than I liked, "A high priority in the pack is to save those that need saving. That started back when my birth father saved my birth mother from a horrible, abusive situation. The pack was actually named after my birth parents, in their honour. Liza and Asher put together is Lasher."
I was blown away by his explanation. I never expected him to reveal that much about his pack, or his birth parents.
"It's beautiful that your pack honours your birth parents." I whispered. I didn't want to talk too loud and ruin the vulnerable moment.
"Yeah." He whispered back.
After that it was quiet between us, up until he dropped me off at class just as the bell rang, and even then we just exchanged quick goodbyes.
I love learning more about him and his pack, but I hate the mood it puts him in. It's obvious that talking about his parents hurts him, but I'm just so curious to refrain from asking questions.
Hopefully by lunch Aj will be back to his usual self.