Fever Claim

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Fourteen

Judah

One thing I hadn’t paid much attention to until now was the way Rosemary dressed. She wore a lot of non-flashy clothes. It was either jean overalls, sweats, sweaters, or baggy t-shirts. She rarely showed skin or wore something that would compliment her body shape.

Frankly, I liked the way she dressed. I liked the fact that she decided to keep my shirt on too. I waited until she was within distance before turning away from her and walking out of the lobby.

Last night after knocking Rose out, she had shifted back to her human form. She had been naked underneath me. I had tried not to look but it was kind of hard when she was laying right in front of me. She wasn’t a curvy woman nor was she absolutely skinny. She had a substantial amount of meat on her and was filled out in all the right places. Her breasts were large enough to fit in my palms and I didn’t realize this before, but she had a small round ass. She had all that hidden under her clothes.

After carrying her home and quickly running upstairs, I had dressed her up and thrown my shirt on her because I hadn’t wanted to spend my time pulling on sweats and sweaters. Then I went to see Hunter. He had been sleeping when I approached him and told him what had happened.

When I was done, he hadn’t been able to stop rubbing it in my face. He had mentioned how ironic it was that I was mated to Rose and that maybe my hatred towards her was nothing more than a farce for what I really felt.

It did make me think a little bit about it, but then I thought about the look on Rosemary’s face. She ran away from me. If that wasn’t rejection enough, I don’t know what was.

I watched her sleep for most of the night. When morning came, she still hadn’t woken up, and I didn’t have it in me to wake her up yet, or to face the reality that she might reject me.

I told Hunter and Ace that I was staying behind and would return later tonight, and they agreed. Hunter mentioned that another pack member had asked for visitation rights. It was an Omega male who would be arriving on the pack territory the next day after resolving his paperwork at home. They left by bus and I had to call in for a rented vehicle.

Now I was alone with Rose and I was anxious.

Any minute now, she would say something that would destroy me.

When we were outside and next to the jeep, I turned to her and picked up her luggage before putting it into the back. Without speaking to each other, I slipped into the driver’s seat and she slipped into the passenger seat. She drummed her fingers nervously in her lap.

My shoulders were tense. I rolled them to relieve the ache but it wasn’t helping. I was out of my game. I didn’t know what to do or what to say.

Putting the car in drive, I pulled out of the driveway and rolled down the road leading out of the resort.

Thirty minutes later,I decided to stop in a small town for breakfast. Parking the car on the side of the road, I turned to look at Rose, who looked at the old diner and then back at me.

“We should eat before we continue on. There won’t be any gas stations or rest stops nearby until we are closer to home,” I told her.

She nodded silently before stepping out. She was quiet and I didn’t know if I liked that. She wasn’t fighting me like how she was at the resort.

We walked inside together, people turning to look at us as they heard us come in. We both glanced at the seating arrangement. Do we sit in a booth? Table? Or the stools by the counter?

Finally, she turned to me and said, “Let’s sit on the stools.”

I nodded and followed her. She walked us over to two seats at the end of the counter. The waitress walked up from behind the counter and handed us two menus.

“Good morning, my name is Betsy. What would you like to drink? We have coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, all soda products-”

“Do you have tea?” Rosemary looked up from her menu.

“Of course, sweetie,” Betsy smiled before turning to me, “And what about you, handsome?”

“I’ll have black coffee,” I nodded.

“Coming right up.” She spun on her heels and walked away.

Rosemary shifted in her seat and her thighs rubbed against mine. Instantly, we both stiffened. She shifted again, which only caused her to rub up against me again.

“I-I’m sorry. I’m trying to get comfortable but the seat-”

I took a look and saw that the seat she was sitting on was uneven.

“Did you want to sit in a booth?” I asked.

She looked at the seating around the diner before shaking her head. The diner had open windows for all the booths. The tables were situated in the middle of the diner. No wonder she chose this particular corner. It was the most private section in the diner. Far away from wandering eyes, where she felt safer. I was the wall that blocked her from being seen by others.

Sighing, I stood up and slid my stool over to her. I picked her up and sat her in the chair before pulling another for me to sit on.

“You-you didn’t have to do that,” she grumbled.

“No, I didn’t,” I replied, fighting back a smile when I saw a look of annoyance flash across her face.

“Here you two go.” Betsy sat our drinks on the counter for us. She leaned back and held up her pad with a pen in her hand, “Now, did you two get a chance to look at the menu? What would you two like to eat?”

“I’ll have your special, Betsy,” I told her.

“Excellent choice, yes, yes,” she murmured while writing it down before turning to look at Rosemary.

“I’ll have the same as him,” Rose’s cheeks were rosy pink.

“Perfect. I’ll be back in a jiffy.”

We fell silent again. I rolled my shoulders again before stretching my neck. When I couldn’t get rid of the tension in my shoulders, I growled and pressed two fingers to the pressure point between my eyes.

“Gamma-” She snapped her mouth shut when she saw me glance at her with narrowed eyes.

“It’s Judah or Jude,” I said in irritation.

“Jude, I want to talk about what we found out last night,” she said slowly while playing with her cup of tea.

So, I guess she wanted to do this now. I tensed up immediately. Clenching my jaw, I fought to control my emotions.

“Yeah?” I managed to say but it came out like a snarl.

Another brief silence. This silence was going to kill me. Not knowing was killing me too.

Betsy came waltzing back out with our plates. She sat them down in front of us before leaving us alone. Neither of us reached for our food.

“If you want to reject me, then just do it already,” I growled.

She physically recoiled which made me look in her direction. The shock that appeared on her face was clear as day. She opened her mouth to say something but then closed it again. She lifted a finger in the air to make a point but dropped her hand in her lap.

“Jesus, Rose, it’s not hard to reject someone. If you don’t want me, then reject me,” I snapped in her direction, glowering at her.

She turned away from me and picked up her fork, “I don’t want to reject you.”

It was barely audible, but I heard it. It was my turn to be surprised. My eyebrows furrowed because I didn’t understand. Why didn’t she want to reject me?

“Why?” I asked.

She looked up at me and cracked her first smile of the day, even if it was a small one.

“Even though we both started off on the wrong foot, I still want to give this mate bond a try. Regardless of our past, we are destined by fate to be together. We have to at least respect that and try.”

I inhaled sharply. She saw my reaction and must have thought about something else.

“Unless-unless you don’t want me?” she questioned.

“I-I-well, I-” Shit! I can’t talk for shit right now.

Her face fell a little.

“I want you,” I blurted out. Well, fuck...

Her eyes shot up and connected with mine.

“So, we agree, we give this mate bond a chance?” she asked.

I swallowed the lump in the throat before nodding. She gave me another smile before turning to her plate of food. Leaning forward, she began chowing down. I ate next to her in silence, my mind still in shock from our conversation.

After we were done eating and I paid our bill, we got back onto the road. Rose stayed up with me and even though we didn’t exchange any words other than a few brief conversations, it was comfortable. The tension in my shoulders was gone and my wolf was happy that our mate wasn’t going to reject us.

When we were almost home, I noticed that she was awfully quiet. I glanced over to see that she had fallen asleep again. Her head was nodding to the side every now and then. We had driven half of the day, and, judging from the last road sign, we were about thirty minutes away.

By now, I had slowed down our speed to twenty-five miles per hour. Radio music played softly in the background. I pulled my phone out of my pocket to text Hunter that we were almost home before I stuffed it back into my pockets. Our mate bond had not been revealed to the pack yet. I wanted to keep it private until Rosemary and I made a decision.

It did make me wonder though, how I was going to work this mate bond out with her when we got back home. Would things go back to normal?

One thing for sure, I wanted Rosemary to want me not only because of the mate bond. If we are going to make this mate bond work, I was not going to change myself simply to satisfy her, and she shouldn’t do the same for me.

That meant I needed to learn everything I could about Rosemary. It meant that Rosemary would have to get to know me. That included my responsibilities, my personality, and all the good and bad about me.

We lived in a small town that was surrounded by a vast number of trees that go on for hundreds of miles. This particular territory is owned by Alpha Hunter. In order to enter the heart of the town, we had to pass through these woodsy areas. In the middle of this territory were the packhouse, school, government offices, stores, outlet malls, and homes of pack members who chose to live on their own instead of in the packhouse.

I used to live with my parents in the packhouse, but I moved out and bought my own house after turning nineteen and taking up the Gamma title. It was located near the edge of the town, but was still in a secluded area. I was happy to be back home and sleeping in my own bed, but that also made me wonder if Rosemary would like the house that I had chosen.

When I chose the house that I lived in, I thought about my mate, and what she might possibly like. Would she like that I had chosen a four-bedroom home? Would she think I was being pushy?

I shoved those thoughts aside as I took the street turn that led me to Rosemary’s house . The road went down a slight slope and then a small curve before reaching their home. Rosemary’s mom stood outside on the porch when I pulled into the driveway. Immediately, she made her way down the steps. Hunter must have informed her that we were close.

When the car came to a jolting stop, Rosemary stirred and rubbed her sleepy eyes. She lifted her head to look around us before it registered that she was home.

“Mom!” Her eyes lit up as she opened the door and hopped out of the jeep.

She ran to her mom and hugged her tightly. They were very close. That I knew for sure. I turned off the ignition before stepping out of the jeep. Stuffing my hands into my pocket, I approached the two women in front of me.

“Oh, baby, I am so happy you are home. It has been lonely without you,” I heard her mom say in relief.

“I am happy to be back too, mom.” Rose hugged her mom tighter.

Her mom finally opened her eyes and saw me. She slowly pulled back and gave me a beautiful smile that reminded me very much of Rosemary.

“Thank you, Gamma, for bringing my Rose back to me safely. I hope she wasn’t a huge pain in the butt,” her mom teased.

“No problem, ma’am. She wasn’t a pain. Slept most of the way,” I replied with a smirk.

Rose smiled but fought it back by biting her bottom lip, which was painfully distracting. She was not looking at me. I took a step forward to get her attention. Her eyes flew up and connected with mine.

How can the color brown be so intricately stunning?

Her mother cleared her throat, “Well, then, should we go inside? Would you like something to eat, Gamma Judah?”

“Thank you for your offer but I best get back home. My parents are eager to see me back.” I declined the offer.

“Well, then, you are welcome here any time and thank you again for bringing Rose back home.”

“No problem at all.”

I walked back to the jeep and retrieved Rose’s luggage from the back before handing it to her. After one last glance her way, I walked back to the jeep and backed out of her driveway. After being with her for a week and sleeping in the same room with her , I didn’t know how I would be able to handle sleeping alone again.

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