Fever Claim

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Nineteen

Judah

Hunter had been a little preoccupied with his new mate. After he brought our Luna home, the packhouse erupted in complete chaos. Everyone had heard about the discovery of their Luna, and everyone was eager to meet her. However, Hunter had discovered that his mate didn’t speak, or was refusing to speak. The little pup that was attached to her side had shifted into a little boy. They both were now in the medical wing being examined by the pack doctor.

According to the doctors, our Luna had a unique genetic makeup. The conclusion was drawn from the blood they forcibly took from her. They told us that she had not been born a werewolf shifter. She had been a human, but her genetic makeup had been changed when she was bitten. That explained the bite mark on her arm.

Hunter sat in front of me, completely out of place. He looked angry and extremely irritated. I could feel how heightened his power was, because my wolf was getting antsy in his presence. We were both on edge, even though we knew there was no clear threat nearby. Ace was sitting beside me, and I was sure he was feeling the same way .

Hunter’s office was small but comfortable. It had a cherry oak desk, and important books and data binders sat on shelves behind his desk. Two comfortable black leather seats were placed in front of his desk. Behind us was a set of leather sofas surrounding a coffee table.

“You need to calm yourself down. You are making our wolves nervous,” Ace pointed out blankly.

Hunter huffed and rubbed a hand over his face.

“I just met her, and my wolf wants to be with her. Yet we can’t be, because she won’t let anyone near her,” he growled.

“She needs time. The doctor said she’s been alone for a very long time. Her wolf considered that pup as her only pack member, which means her wolf recognizes herself as an Alpha. You saw her reaction that night. She might’ve been human, but the way she fought off your command and protected that pup—that was pure strength.”

It was true. My father had told me about the Alpha command. It couldn’t be resisted. Even some Lunas obeyed their Alpha’s command. They might be of equal status, but the command of an Alpha is absolute. Its power is unyielding.

Hunter rolled his shoulders to ease the tension in his body. I knew how he felt. It was a nagging feeling, urging us to run to our mate’s side. Our wolves craved that closeness.

Rosemary might not have realized how much my presence eased the nervousness in her body, but I knew how she affected me. Every damn time our eyes collided, it was like every worry in my life seemed to disappear.

“I don’t know if I can do this,” Hunter muttered.

“You have only been doing this for two days. Look at me. My mate is on the opposite side of town,” I growled, annoyed with Hunter’s complaint.

“Actually, I am having a lot of fun cornering mine in the packhouse,” Ace replied, which earned him a hard glare from Hunter.

“I took your advice and asked mine out on a date,” I said, irritated when I recalled the incident this morning at school.

When I saw Rosemary today during class, it took lots of effort not to chase out the insignificant juveniles, and do whatever I wanted to her. She wasn’t wearing any revealing clothes. My mate had on a pair of tight workout leggings and an old baggy t-shirt. That was it, but it was fucking hot.

I watched my mate as she went through the course. I watched how the sweat drenched her t-shirt and clung to her skin as she climbed. I heard what Bethany and Dana were saying behind her back. I saw how Bethany grabbed onto Rosemary’s ankle. My heart literally dropped to the ground. The air in my chest left me immediately as I watched her fall. Without regards to what the other students would think, I rushed to catch her. I was directly below her when I saw her grab onto a rock on the wall.

Although Rose and I had never seen eye to eye, and she had irritated me to no fucking end in the past, I had always known how strong she was. Other werewolves shivered underneath my threatening glare, and ran away when I growled, but whenever I encountered Rosemary, she simply ignored me and brushed aside my looks. She didn’t care two shits about what I threw her way.

That was just how things were.

Rosemary seemed almost completely unaffected by anything I threw her way, especially before the mate bond. Frankly, that was what irritated the shit out of me.

Maybe that is also why I am all hot and turned on right now...

My attention flew back to my friends sitting before me. I looked them both in the eyes.

“Your advice didn’t do shit,” I said flatly.

“She said no?” Ace asked.

“Yeah,” I replied, irritated and frustrated.

“Did you look at her in the eyes like we told you to?” Hunter questioned.

“I fucking stared into her eyes when I asked her,” I growled.

“Well, did you smile?” Ace asked, “’cause when you don’t smile, you tend to scare people.”

“Rose is anything but scared of me.”

Hunter and Ace laughed. I, on the other hand, was not amused one bit. I needed to get this mate thing figured out, or else I would go insane. My wolf was already getting antsy, and we wanted nothing more than to have her move in and live with us. I wanted to see her every day. I saw her at school, but my wolf wasn’t pleased with just that anymore. He needed her.

“Maybe you should try talking to her again. Go over tonight and meet up with her. Rosemary doesn’t seem like the type of girl that you need to take out on a dinner date. I think she will be more pleased if you go over and visit her,” Hunter suggested.

I pondered Hunter’s suggestion. Maybe he was onto something. I should take his advice, and visit Rosemary .

~ ~ ~

It was late when I found myself parked outside my mate’s house. The first thing I did when I stepped out of my truck was look at her window. The light was still on, which meant she was still up.

I walked up to the front porch, and hesitated briefly before knocking. There was no answer. I knocked a little harder. Still no answer. I told myself to knock once more, and if she didn’t answer, I was leaving.

I knocked for the third, and last, time.

There was no answer.

I turned to leave, but stopped when I heard the door unlocking. I turned around just in time to see Rosemary opening the door. She stood in the doorway dressed in an oversized t-shirt that reached her thighs. Instantly, memories of the night I dressed her at the resort came flooding back. I bit my bottom lip and forced myself to look up.

She looked surprised to see me. Her eyes widened, and her perfect lips parted. Her strawberry blonde hair was down, and drifted around her shoulders. She looked like she had just taken a shower, and then had hurriedly thrown on a shirt before answering the door.

“Judah?”

“Hey,” I said.

“W-what are you doing here?” She looked thoroughly confused.

“I was just driving by and thought I’ll check in on you,” I lied.

“Oh,” she responded.

We stood in silence for a while, and I cursed myself in my head. I didn’t know what to say next. I shouldn’t have been this helpless, but I was, and so I just stood there staring at her.

“My mom isn’t home, but do you want to come in?” she asked.

Damn it, Judah. Just talk. There is no harm in talking.

“Yeah,” I replied.

She opened the door for me to enter. When I walked inside, she closed the door behind me. This was the first time I had ever been inside her home. It was small and cozy. Family pictures hung on the wall. The sofa looked a little worn out, but it still appeared comfortable.

“So, what are you really doing here?” she asked.

Leave it to her to know that I didn’t swing by just on coincidence. She knew I had a reason to be here. I stuffed my hands into my jean pockets and returned my gaze to her.

“I wanted to let you know that Bethany has been assigned to do community services in our town for six months. Hunter believes it will do her some good to learn humility again,” I told her.

She sighed and turned away from me. I watched her walk into the kitchen. My wolf needed to feel closer to her, so, on instinct, I followed behind her.

She walked to the cabinet and placed two cups in front of her.

“Would you like some tea?” she asked.

I shrugged, so she took it as a yes. After placing a tea bag in each cup, she poured the hot water, before setting the pot back down onto the stove. She slid one cup over to me. The tea was still too hot to drink, so Rosemary leaned against the counter with her arms crossed. She kept her eyes on me.

“Listen, I want to make this bond between us work. You’re my mate,” I said . Announcing it verbally did something to me. My heart rate picked up and I swallowed the large lump in my throat. This woman before me was my mate.

“I do, too,” she whispered shyly, casting her eyes down to her cup. She turned to face the counter.

“So, can I offer something to get this ball rolling?” I asked.

Her curious eyes slid to mine, her fingers playing with her cup of tea in front of her nervously.

“And what is that?” she asked.

“My wolf has been on edge since your mating switched turned on. He doesn’t like that you aren’t marked yet. He wants you close. I know we aren’t at that stage yet, but it is affecting my work. I can’t focus. My mind is constantly filled with you,” I admitted, and heard her inhale softly.

“Mine too,” Rosemary whispered almost inaudibly. She realized what she had just admitted and quickly added, “I mean, my wolf’s been thinking about you too. S-she wants to be with you.”

Encouraged, I took a step towards her. She turned to face me.

“Can I pick you up every morning for school, and see you every night before you go to sleep? I need to make sure you are okay.”

She drew in her plump bottom lip before nodding slowly in agreement.

She smelled delicious. I didn’t want to push things too much, but being this close to Rosemary was electrifying. I realized how much I had missed her, even though I had just seen her this afternoon. I boxed her in by placing my hands on either side of her. Her back was now up against the counter.

“I am not going to lie to you, Rose. My wolf wants nothing more than to sink his canines into your flesh. He wants to make you his. Standing this close to you takes a lot of restraint. I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I am not trying to rush things, but this is the truth.”

She removed one of my hands from the counter, and slipped away from me. It was like playing cat and mouse. She put some distance between us by moving to the other side of the kitchen. I followed her, unable to stop myself. I was physically drawn to her just as much as I was emotionally right now.

“Then what do you want me to do?” she asked.

I smirked. “How about agreeing to go on a date with me?”

She wrinkled her nose.

“I would rather not,” she replied.

As I expected, Rose would prefer not to be around any crowds whatsoever. I was starting to understand her more. I took another step towards her. She was trapped; there was no exit. She was blocked by the counter and kitchen sink on both sides of her. The only way to get out of the kitchen was through me. My wolf was fucking smug about this.

“Then how about agreeing to be my girlfriend?” I asked.

“Girlfriend? Does this mean you want to publicize our bond ?” she retorted.

“I do,” I replied honestly.

“You are technically my teacher. People at school-”

“The people at school can go to hell. Nobody is stopping me from taking what’s mine,” I replied. “Plus, this might be just what we need to make a statement to all the females attending the school.”

Rosemary’s eyes lit up at the last part. She pulled in her bottom lip and did the one thing I had hoped for. She nodded her head in agreement.

Surprisingly, I didn’t go home right after that. I stayed up until midnight at Rosemary’s house, sitting in her living room. We ended up talking some more. By the time that I did leave, we had finished most of her mom’s cookies that she had baked earlier today, along with our tea, and a tall glass of milk.

When I arrived back at my place, I felt calm. Why wouldn’t I? I had been able to listen to my mate talk for hours. It had felt good to be close to her. I could feel her growing more comfortable with me. That fact made my heart beat joyously.

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