Chapter 10 - Eden
By telling me I had a big day ahead, I didn’t think Liam had an entire lycan history lesson planned. Though I love books, the ones filled with all lycan history (like hundreds of thousands of years of it) are not as intriguing to me as a good old Shakespearian tragedy. Just when the stacks finally seemed to end, he started handing me the ones about the history of just his pack alone. They all spoke extensively of the Moon Goddess, lycan laws, and the lengthy war between man and lycan, forcing the people of the moon to go into hiding as their population depleted.
Liam spoke to me of a group called the Royals. They were in charge of all werewolf kind, a group who make the laws and ensure that all abide to it. Laws that include the stance of half-breeds in every pack, laws that stated people like me are to be treated as slaves, the lowest members on the lycan hierarchy. Even below Omegas. Though it enraged me, I was so new to this world that there was nothing I could do but sit and clench my fists. Even though there is so much proof around me that this was all very real, I still struggle to wrap my head around it all. A group of royal werewolves? Appointed Alpha’s for every pack? It all just seemed too surreal.
I sit on a couch in the library, watching Liam pace in front of me, diving into every detail of the history books before us. I try to follow along, but I feel my mind wander off as I bite on the skin around my thumb anxiously. My eyes follow Liam, locked on his dark tousled hair, his stubbly jawline, the way his neck moves so deliciously as he spoke. I felt myself gulp at the thought of touching him, tracing the outline of him with my fingers. I’ve never felt these things before, it’s all so new to me, and I don’t know what to do about it. I shift on the couch uncomfortably, crossing my legs to try and put my burning hunger for him at bay.
“You know,” Liam suddenly stood in front of me, leaning back against the oak table with books splayed across it. “I can feel everything you’re feeling.” His eyes slowly grow darker as I look up into them, my heart pounded in my chest as I thought of closing the remaining distance between us. Instead, I snap my gaze away, inhaling sharply.
He had woken me up this morning with a soft knock on my bedroom door. He came in with a massive tray in his hands, carrying platefuls of scrambled eggs, toast, fruit and bacon. Happy that he didn’t try to force me to eat with all the other members of the pack again, we ate together in bed, cross-legged and facing each other. Being around him definitely gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling that I’ve only read about in my sappy romance novels, but it all seems a bit too good to be true. A girl like me, living this fantasy?
“Eden?” Liam snaps me out of my daze, kneeling on the ground before me. He takes my hand away from my mouth, examining the sore on my thumb from my chewing. He presses his lips together, and looks up to me, bringing my hand close to his plump lips. “May I?”
“I, um, yes?” I respond, unsure of what he is asking to do. Electricity sparks through my hand and up my body, causing my desire for him to intensify. He brings my thumb to his lips, kissing the sore softly. I gasp as my body begins to tingle. This is the first time his lips have touched me, and even though it’s not in a sexual way, I feel myself go into overdrive. My gasp quickly turns into a gentle moan, and I snap my hand away. “Um, thanks…” I manage to stammer, shifting further back into the worn leather sofa.
“Easy Angel, look.” He chuckles, and once again takes my hand, turning it so I can see that there is no longer a wound on it.
“H-how did you do that?” I analyze my finger, wide-eyed and mouth agape, forgetting that his kiss on my finger alone had caused me so much pleasure.
“A mates touch is known to be healing, one of the many gifts the Moon Goddess has given us.” Liam offers me a lopsided smile that makes my heart flutter. Then I put the pieces together.
“My car accident…” I knew that there was no way I just walked away from flipping Aunt B’s car. “You healed me?”
“Yes, I did.” His smile is now wide, showing off his pearly white teeth.
“No, that’s not okay!” I push him from my lap, getting to my feet in a huff. My face grows hot, no longer with lust but with anger. Liam quickly gets to his feet, now frowning.
“Eden, it was the only way. Your wounds were fatal.” He reaches out to tuck my ruffled hair behind my ear, but I step back.
“No, Liam, it wasn’t.” I scowl. “You didn’t have my consent. I should’ve been taken to the hospital. I’m human, I’m not like you.” It’s never been like me to get angry, but now I was. Very, very angry.
“We didn’t have much time Eden, your aunt agreed. We needed to act fast, a hospital couldn’t do for you what I’m capable of.” His voice is tight, but it didn’t seem to be anger causing it. It was more like passion.
“It’s my body, I decide what happens with it. Not my aunt and most definitely not you. I don’t care what you are and aren’t capable of doing.” I feel tears begin to rise in my eyes, overflowing over my boiling face. My entire body was injured, I had been tossed around in the flipping car like frigging hacky sack. That only means his lips have touched every inch of me whilst I was unconscious? No, I’m not okay with it.
“I care Eden.” He says with a clenched jaw. His fists are squeezed shut and his eyes begin to flicker with the all too familiar colour of ebony. “I care about you. I care about whether you’re injured or not. I care about your thoughts and your feelings. I know you’re not happy here or about this whole situation in general. I know you’re not happy about me or about Stephen. I’m doing the best I can, but I can sense your confliction, I can feel what you’re feeling Eden. None of this is easy for me either. Things aren’t going the way I ever thought they’d go either, but I’m trying my best. So please, for the love of the Goddess, let me care.” Liam’s voice is raised and his eyes are black. He breathes heavily, and his skin looks as though it’s twitching. I can tell that he is trying to maintain control of the side of him I haven’t seen yet. His lycan side.
I know that he cares about me, I can feel that. I just assumed that all this change was more drastic for me than it was for him, I actually didn’t even consider how it would impact him. I immediately feel selfish for not thinking about him even the slightest through all of this. I can’t imagine, with how much he cares for me, having to see me near deaths doorstep. How he must feel about my situation with Stephen, although I don’t quite know how I feel about it either. I’ve been trying to adjust to being here, and Liam has been accommodating, it just hadn’t occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough. Not a lot of people know about this secret lycan world, and instead of considering myself lucky, I took it as a burden. I took Liam as a burden.
“I’m sorry,” I say with a small voice. “I didn’t even think about your feelings in all of this, and though I’m still not okay with you seeing me naked, I appreciate you helping me. I’m grateful for everything you’re doing for me here Liam.” Taking a few slow steps toward him, I put my hand on his arm, offering him the best smile I can through the tears streaming down my cheeks. His twitching skin calms almost instantly beneath my touch, and he lets out a sigh.
“I didn’t see you naked Eden.” His chuckle is soft as he places his hand on top of mine. “Although I would love to, it was not the time nor the place. Your aunt was sure to respect your wishes.” My cheeks burn at his bold comment, however relief washes over me. I can’t even remember if I shaved that day, not that that was the point here but still.
“You’re welcome Eden.” In all the commotion, I hadn’t noticed our faces growing closer to the others. My gaze flicks from his dark eyes to his thick lips, and I feel heat spreading through my body. I said I’d try harder right? I’ve wanted to kiss him, to be near him, but I haven’t allowed myself due to my uncertainty. So, this could be my start to trying harder, not only for Liam but for myself too. His breath is cool against my lips, and his hands skim up my arms to my cheeks as he looks deeply into my eyes. My breathing begins to grow heavy as electricity pumps through my body, making my heart hammer and my knees tremble. The spark that has been dwelling between us resonates into a yearning fire low in my abdomen as he pulls me against him.
“May I kiss you?” His voice is low, nearly a growl.
“Yes.” The word slips from my lips without an ounce of hesitation. I close my eyes, and just as I’m ready to feel his lips press to mine, he suddenly stiffens. My eyes snap open to see Liam’s face pulled back from mine, his eyes glazed over, flicking back and forth. Confusion comes over me, and my brows knit together. Had he changed his mind about kissing me? I release myself from his grip, suddenly embarrassed by the fact that I had practically thrown myself at him.
“For fuck sakes!” He thunders, anger washing over him as his eyes fall back onto me.
“Did I do something wrong?” I wrap my arms around myself like a security blanket, hanging my head, turning my feet together.
“No, no, Angel you didn’t do anything wrong.” He slips his finger under my chin, lifting my head up to look at him, into his now softened eyes. “My Beta just contacted me, it seems I’m needed somewhere else at the moment. I’m sorry. I’ll be back soon, and we can pick up right where we left off.” He gives me a gentle kiss on the forehead. “I’ll find you after.”
“Okay,” is all I manage to squeak before he’s out the library door and gone into the labyrinth that he calls a house.
I fall back onto the couch as frustration overcomes me, letting my head fall into my hands. I wanted to kiss him. Badly. And in my moment of willingness, of finally being ready, it had to be spoiled by his mind-link with his Beta? Who is his Beta? Is she a girl? My teeth grit against each other and my nails dig into my palms until I feel my skin begin to split. I’ve never had an almost-boyfriend, which means I’ve never been jealous like this before. I get to my feet, throwing the massive history books from the table and across the room with such force I never even knew I had in me. Suddenly, my jealousy is clouded by shock. I struggled to lift a twenty-pound dumbbell in high school gym class, and now I could all of a sudden through fifteen ten-pound books across a room?
I scramble to pick the books up, some as far as behind some of the lower shelves. I crawl across the floor, shutting the books and piling them up. In my panic to collect them, I almost neglected the sound of the library doors opening. Was Liam back already? That was a really quick meeting, he must have been in a hurry to get back to me. With a smile on my face, I get to my feet, until I see two unfamiliar girls standing near the couch I had been sitting on just minutes before. I hastily duck down behind the shelf, peeking around the corner ever so slightly. They both had long, silky hair, one icy blonde and the other black. They are both dressed in shorts that are much too short and tops that are basically bras.
“All I’m saying is that Liam’s Luna has to have some sort of bullshit spell over him.” The dark-haired girl says, her tone seemingly annoyed. She plops down onto the couch, her arms crossed. She is beautiful, her face is slim and long, and her skin is perfectly sunkissed. Her eyes are dark, much like Liam’s but not as intense and her big lips are formed into a scowl.
“What do you mean?” The blonde one says, taking a seat beside the other girl, her head tilted to the side as she combs her fingers through her white hair.
“She’s a half-breed Aubrey.” The dark-hair girl hisses at her friend. “Alpha’s don’t just go around claiming half-breeds as their mates, especially not Liam Greywolf. He despises them. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
“You don’t seriously think that Liam plans on keeping her around do you? He totally can’t, not with you around Selena.” Aubrey chuckles, putting her hand on Selena’s shoulder. “I bet he’s trying to find a way out of this, he’s been hiding his new mate from us since the accident. He’s defs embarrassed about it. She’s a mutt.”
Mutt. The word rings in my ears. Is that what they call people like me? Liam despises people like me? Before I can stop them, tears overflow in my eyes, pouring down my cheeks. This is what his pack thinks of me? They don’t even know me. Could what they’re saying be true? Could he really be ashamed of having a mate that’s only half lycan? I bite down on my lip to stop a sob from bursting out. How could I have been so stupid to have thrown myself at him when this could all just be an issue in need of resolving to him? My head falls into my hands as I curl up behind the shelf.
“I’m just saying that every male in this pack wants you Selena, Liam included. He’ll find a way to get her skanky ass out of here and you’ll be right back in his bedroom before you know it. A true Luna.” Aubrey says.
“Yeah you’re right. I saw him earlier and his scent isn’t any different. He hasn’t fucking touched her. I know I couldn’t fathom the idea of laying a finger on a mutt.” Selena snickers. I can’t listen anymore, I have to get out of here.
This girl, Selena, was his girlfriend? Before I can think twice, I get to my feet, catching the attention of both girls who gasp in response. I glance at them, face blotchy from crying before I run from the room as fast as my feet can possibly carry me. I sprint down the maze of hallways before I finally collapse to my feet and allow my sobs overcome me.