Fever Claim

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Twenty Two

Rose

After Judah dropped me off at home, I quickly noted that my mom was not home as usual before heading up the stairs to my bedroom. I walked into my closet and pulled out some black leggings and Judah’s stolen oversized t-shirt that I took at the resort.

Stepping out of the bedroom, I walked to the bathroom to take a shower. I took my time in lathering up my hair, washing it, and then focused on soaping up my body when I heard a loud crash coming from downstairs. Alarmed, I turned off the shower and grabbed the towel. Wrapping it around me, I reached for the door only to have it kicked down a second later. I let out a death scream.

Judah stood before me terrified and desperate. His eyes landed on me immediately. Before I can react, he marched over to me and swept me up into his arms.

“What the hell?” I screamed.

Has he gone insane? He had just kicked down my bathroom door. I am completely naked underneath this towel. Gripping the knot tightly in my hands, I pounded on his back with my first.

“Put me down, you-” The smell of smoke filled my nostrils.

Realization dawned on me and I realized my home is on fire which is why Judah came barging into my bathroom. It also explains why he was freaking out. He started at a run towards my window. My eyes widened when I saw what he was about to do.

“Wait-”

He didn’t wait. He ran towards the window and used his back to shield and break the window. We both went flying out. He landed on his feet perfectly with me safe in his arms. Together, we both turned towards my house which was already two-thirds of the way burned down. My home was on fire downstairs and I didn’t even realize it. I was taking a shower. I could have died.

“What the hell happened?” I still can’t believe what had just happened.

I am pretty sure the stove and oven was not on. I didn’t smell anything suspicious—well, to be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to my surroundings. I was too busy thinking about Judah when he brought me home.

Judah set me down on the ground before stripping off his black t-shirt and yanking it over my body. I am thankful he was still being mindful of how very naked I am right now. I slipped my arms through before marching right back towards the house. He grabbed the collar of his shirt to stop me from going any further. I felt like a pup being dragged by the scuff.

“What the fuck do you think you are doing?” he asked.

“My family pictures, my clothes, my books.” I started to list off all the important things to me.

The sound of the firetruck can be heard from a distance. Judah wasn’t having any of my crap. He crouched down and tossed me over his shoulders in a blink of an eye just as the firetruck rounded the corner and pulled up on my street.

“Your life means more to me right now, Rose,” he growled angrily before stomping off.

“My house just got burned down. I don’t understand. What happened?”

Once we were a safe distance away from the house and the firemen started working in defusing the fire, he set me back down onto the ground. His eyes were dark with fury. He looked like he could kill someone right now. He’s furious.

“I don’t understand.” I kept repeating.

Suddenly, familiar people came running to the end of the driveway. My mom, the Alpha and Luna, Beta Ace, Alpha Hunter, and Scott. Their eyes scanned the house before finding both Judah and I on the street. My mom rushed over and pulled me into her arms. Judah met the rest of the group.

They were whispering in low voices back and forth. The longer they carried the conversation, the more pissed Judah became. He’s shaking and struggling to control himself in front of a few human firemen. Alpha Hunter placed a hand on Judah’s shoulder and I can see him trying to calm Judah down. Judah wasn’t having any of it.

“Are you okay? What happened?” my mom asked the same question I have been asking Judah.

“I don’t know. I came home and took a shower before I knew what was happening, Judah broke down the door and we escaped through the window. I don’t understand, mom. The oven wasn’t on. I would know if it was on.” I kept rambling.

She nodded her head in understanding before patting my head in reassurance.

“It’s okay. Nothing else matters. You are the only thing that matters to me,” she replied.

A second later, Alpha Hunter, Beta Ace, and Judah appeared in my line of vision. My mom and I pulled back and I saw the stricken expression on Alpha Hunter’s face.

“It looks like we will have to relocate you to the packhouse until we can find you two a new home.”

“What happened?” My eyes finding Judah again.

Judah’s jaw ticked and his fists were clenched at his sides but he didn’t answer me. Beta Ace ended up answering for him.

“Rosemary, when you got home did you notice anything different?” Beta Ace questioned.

I tried to remember but again, I wasn’t paying much attention to my surroundings. I shook my head.

“That’s ok. We will investigate this thoroughly. Whatever happened, we will find out for you,” Alpha Hunter promised.

“Catalina, how about you and your daughter catch a ride back with us?” Luna Mikaela offered from behind Judah and them. “I can have a pack member fix up two spare bedrooms for you two.”

“She’ll stay with me,” Judah spoke up gruffly.

Everyone’s eyes snapped to him. This is the first time Judah is publicly announcing a relationship with me. He did this without consulting with me. Alpha Hunter’s parents don’t know our relationship.

“I don’t think that is a very good idea,” Luna Mikaela looked like a mother ready to fend for her pups. I found it reassuring that she cared enough about our well beings. My mom, on the other hand, knew who Judah was to me.

“It’s okay, mom,” Alpha Hunter interrupted which earned him her glowering eyes.

“She’s unmated and he is unmated. They should not be in one home together.”

My mom chuckled a little and walked up to Luna Mikaela before slightly bowing her head.

“I am grateful for your concern on my daughter’s behalf but I am okay with Gamma Judah taking my daughter to his home. I know he will not hurt her,” my mom started.

“Wait, what?” Luna Mikaela is completely confused.

“What I mean is that my daughter’s mate is Gamma Judah. I am sure his wolf is wanting to be reassured that his mate is safe and by safe, safe in the same home as him. Who better to protect her than her mate?” my mom clarified.

Luna Mikaela’s scrutinizing eyes zipped between Judah and I. Judah and I had wanted to keep our mateship on the down low but now that will not work anymore as my lovely mom had just revealed our mateship to the Alpha and Luna.

“Is this true?” Luna Mikaela looked at me.

“I-” I am a fish out in the open gasping for water right at this moment.

“It is true, Luna.” Judah saved me. “She is my mate but we prefer not to announce this publicly yet to the pack, especially with what had just happened today. I want to keep everything quiet until we find out what happened.”

He is making it sound like someone purposely put my house on fire like the fire was intentional to kill me-my eyes snapped to Judah.

Was that why he was so angry?

“Alright,” Luna Mikaela nodded in agreement.

“I think I should stay at the packhouse with my mom,” I interrupted.

My mom smiled my way before walking over to place her hands on my shoulders.

“I would love that but I don’t think Gamma Judah would like that very much. Life and death situations tend to scare our wolves very much. Even if you don’t need him, he needs you.”

Judah had disappeared from my side to finish his conversation with his buddies but I can see how tense his shoulders were. He is on alert of his surroundings. His eyes, every now and then, will do a quick sweep of our surroundings before flickering back to me.

“Ok,” I conceded.

She gave me another smile before pulling me into a hug.

“I will be fine at the packhouse. You don’t have to worry about me. I practically live there.”

After hugging my mom and saying goodbye to everyone. Alpha Hunter and Beta Ace stayed behind to further investigate the scene. Judah took me to his truck and buckled me in. He was completely silent through the ride to his house.

It was on the opposite side of town. When we arrived, I took my time examining the exterior of his home. He had chosen a house close to a lake. The exterior had dark green horizontal sidings and shaped into an ‘L’ shape. A small size porch in the front of the home.

“So, you live here?” I asked stupidly.

He nodded his response before shutting off the ignition and getting out of his truck. I decided to follow him. I trailed a yard behind him as he walked up the three steps to his porch and looked through his keys for the keys to his door.

When we entered the home and he flipped a switch, his entire home lit up. I expected an unclean, bachelor pad, and filled with the color black, but it was the opposite. The home is very clean. The kitchen counters sparkled underneath the chandelier lighting just to tell me how clean it was.

His living room is open with no walls to block off for privacy. It leads directly to the kitchen and dining room. His living room isn't extravagantly designed. It had three dark coffee sofas, a cherry oak coffee table in the middle and a plush red velvet rug in the middle. His kitchen is big enough to fit ten people. It has a rectangular kitchen island in the middle, granite countertops, a stove, oven, coffee maker, and fridge. This home might be simple and ordinary but compared to my home it is beautiful.

When I realized he hadn’t moved from my side, I turned to see him looking at me. He was waiting for a reaction.

“It’s beautiful,” I smiled.

I can see relief flash across his eyes before he set his keys into a key bowl by the door. He turned to face me.

“I have four bedrooms. If you go down this hall, to the end, and to your right, that room is the master bedroom which is mine right now. You can use the other three if you would like. They have not been used at all.”

It is starting to sink in that I am in my mate’s home. He is talking about bedrooms. If I say, can I sleep in the same room as you? Would I be too forward? If I tell him, I want to sleep in a spare bedroom? Would he be offended? How does this work? I don’t know what to say. He’s staring at me. He is expecting an answer from me.

“Ok,” I replied.

He cocked an eyebrow as if to question me further. Ok, what? Ok, you will sleep in the same room as me? Ok as you will not sleep in the same room as me?

“I-uh...”

“I didn’t realize all it took for you to be speechless was to bring you to my home,” he broke the tense air with that remark.

“I’m not speechless.” I scoffed.

He broke into a lopsided grin before turning to walk down the hallway. Quickly, I followed in his footsteps, not knowing where he is going but not wanting to be alone too. When he stopped and opened a bedroom that was opposite to his.

“This can be your room.” He gestured inside. I peeked in and saw how comfortable it looked. It had a queen size bed with quilted blankets and a few drawers inside.

I chewed the inside of my cheek before turning to look back at him.

“To be honest, I wouldn’t mind you sleeping in the same room as me. After what happened earlier, I will feel a lot better to have you closer.” He avoided my eyes when he spoke. I can see how unsure he was for the first time.

“It’s not just your wolf?”

He gave me a questioning look.

“It’s not just your wolf that is anxious, it is you too?”

His thick eyebrows wrinkled in confusion before he nodded.

“I would feel better if you slept in the same room as me.”

Memories of him telling me he likes me flitted through my mind and I couldn’t stop the blush from appearing on my cheeks. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind sleeping in the same room as him.

“Ok,” I replied before reaching for his door and opening it.

I guess I spoke too soon. His room is filled with black quilted blankets, pillowcases, and curtains. That is something I am going to need to change out when we-Wait, Rosemary. Are you seriously thinking about the future right now?

He brushed past me and walked inside. I followed him like a shadow. He went through his second drawer before pulling out an old and worn sleeping pants that were small enough to fit me.

“These were mine. I grew out of them but they should fit you.” He handed them to me.

I forgot I was completely naked underneath his shirt. I murmured a quiet thanks before pulling the pants on. When I looked at him, he had some clean clothes under his arms.

“I’m going to take a shower. If you want, you can take a look around.”

I watched him walk into the master bathroom before my eyes drifted around his bedroom. I started on one end. My fingers trailing his desk where some papers were piled on them neatly. This is where he did his work when he was home. My fingers skimmed his dresser and caught sight of a picture of him earning the pack trophy for the pack combat competition several years ago. He looked young but his eyes never changed. There were still dark olive and brooding eyes. A smile didn’t touch his lips in this picture but he still looked very handsome.

I walked by his bedroom window where the sheer black curtains hung. I picked up the sheer material in my hand before looking out the window to the lake. By now it was night time and the moon is high above us. I like this a lot because I enjoy nightly swims and this part of the lake is wooded and private.

The sound of the lock unlocking from the bathroom catches my attention and I turned just in time to see him come out half naked in only a pair of black sleeping pants. He had a towel in his hand and was ruffling it through his dark umber locks to dry them as much as possible.

His eyes did a quick scan but quickly found me ogling his body. I have seen him half naked multiple times in the past even before we were mates but somehow, tonight, I am deeply affected by how good he looks and how good he smells.

Biting my lips, I tore my eyes away and to the bed. I felt his eyes followed my line of sight. We were both looking at the bed.

He took a few more steps and threw his towel in the hamper before walking over to the bed. He got onto the opposite side of the bed, pulled the covers back, pulled the covers up to his chest and then putting an arm behind his head to prop himself up a little.

I played with the hem of his shirt that he gave me.

“Are you going to sleep or stand there all night?” he asked.

I frowned.

“Um, sleep?” I told him.

“Then crawl into bed before I carry you into bed,” he ordered before rolling onto his side with his back facing me.

I tried not to pout but he was being a major ass. Rolling my eyes, I shoved aside my nervousness. It is not like he is going to ravish me once I get into bed next to him. We are just sleeping. Besides, he doesn’t seem affected at all that I am in his home. So, why should I be affected?

I started walking towards him but when he suddenly spoke up, I stopped walking.

“Can you turn off the light before coming to bed?” he asked.

I snorted. No. I can’t.

I crawled into bed, punched his pillow a few times before settling my head onto it. I turned my back to face him. Oh, I’m pouting and I am furious. He will turn off the light. I will not do it. Oh my god, I am fighting over the stupidest thing. Now, I’m mad at him for making me fight over the stupidest thing with him.

I closed my eyes and tried to focus on sleeping. It took a lot of effort but eventually, I did fall asleep.

When I awoke in the middle of the night, I found the bedroom light was turned off and I am no longer sleeping on my pillow. Instead, I am nicely spooned against Judah’s chest and sharing one pillow with him.

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