The heart is a complex organ. It pumps the blood around your body, giving your body the things, it needs. It’s a vital necessity. But it also reflects how you are feeling in situations. Say you were anxious; your heart would be hammering in your chest. Or, if you were in love, it would probably be thundering in your chest. My point is, the heart shows how we are feeling too. It’s wired to our brain yet some still figuratively believe the heart has a mind of its own.
The saying ’the heart knows what it wants’ comes to mind. The heart can tell you if you love someone or if you hate them. The heart and the brain are the same, but they also work differently. My brain is logical and rational whilst my heart leans more to the side of emotions.
When I first met Arlo, my heart immediately knew what it wanted but my brain warned me off, reminding me that nothing good would come out of feeling things for him. At first, I listened. But when the heart wants something, it gets it.
I wanted to know Arlo more, I wanted to see the good side of him. In doing so, I fell. Hard. And now that I’ve fallen, my brain is going to have to pick up the pieces again.
Arlo Gold is an extraordinary man in my eyes. I love him with every breath I have, with every heartbeat. To him though, that is not enough. It never will be. He has made it abundantly clear—he can’t commit to me. There is something holding him back, pulling him away from me. I can see he’s fighting it, trying to break free but his willpower is diminishing.
I can’t tell if it’s his love for Talia or his fear.
Fear is a powerful thing. It can change us, claiming it’s for ‘survival’. Fear is a dangerous thing, it’s hard to overcome. And if fear is the thing holding Arlo back, he needs to find a whole lot of courage to stand up and fight back.
I’ve tried telling Arlo that love isn’t easy, it’s not perfect. There are moments when you regret falling in love when you wish it was all over, but those good, blissful moments are the things that keep people falling in love over and over again. Heartbreak is inevitable. It’s just whether you are strong enough to pick yourself back up afterwards.
I used to think Arlo was. I used to think he could pull himself back. I thought he would be able to fight that hold over him.
Perhaps Arlo just doesn’t want to be loved back. Perhaps he wants to give but not receive back.
I’ve given every part of myself for him, I have given him his chance. Now all I have to do is hope and wait.
Arlo’s POV (just after Lily left Arlo with the wolf)
“Okay, okay,” I hold my arms in a calming manner. I relax, showing I’m not a threat. “You can shift back now, dad.”
I look away when my dad shifts, giving him so privacy. I hear him shuffle around, searching for a pair of shorts. When he finds a pair, he quickly puts it on and clears his throat.
“So, when we were you going to tell me and your mother that you found your mate?” He asks, sternly. “A mate who you nearly rejected.”
Before turning around, I wince. So, to my dismay, my dad heard all of that. Brilliant.
Swivelling around on the balls of my feet, I rub the back of my neck anxiously. How do I explain this to my dad? He will never accept my reason—he will call me a coward. I love my parents to bits; I don’t want them seeing me in a different light.
“Well,” I drag out, mentally gathering a sentence together. “I…I was going to tell you about her.”
My dad arches an unimpressed eyebrow. “Were you now? Because it sounds like you were trying to keep her a secret from me.”
I avert my eyes, keeping them focused on the ground.
“Why on earth would you reject your mate, Arlo? What on earth makes you want to do that?” He questions, angrily. The fury rolls off of him in waves. He takes a step closer, his brown eyes that are similar to mine begin burning holes into my body. A powerful aura comes flaunts off his body. The Alpha aura is a force to be reckoned with. It can have some wolves falling to their knees.
I inhale and slowly lift my head up to him. I’m usually someone who takes pride in their exterior. I will always look directly into someone’s eyes unless I’m talking to another Alpha. But right now, I don’t have the guts to look at my dad.
“Answer me, Arlo!” He bellows loudly, his voice bouncing off the trees. Forcing myself to not react to his voice, I keep my eyes staring at the bridge of his nose.
“I can’t do it. I can’t be with her.” I eventually say.
Confusion sparkles in his eyes. “Why not?! She is a very pretty girl, seems nice enough. If you are worried that we won’t like her because she’s human, you’re wrong. We will never treat her differently. She’s family now.”
This is what most sons want to hear their parents say. Say they will accept their mate, treat them like family.
“Dad, it’s not that. I don’t care if she’s human or not. I just can’t be with her.”
His jaw ticks and his eyes narrow dangerously. “Then what is it?”
“I can’t do the commitment.” I splutter, meeting his eyes.
He stares into mine for a few minutes and then shakes his head vigorously. “That’s a lie and you know it.”
My eyebrows knit together as I utter words of denial. I’m not wrong. I know it’s not about anything else but that. Except…
“Talia,” I mumble her name. The usual feelings I get from thinking of her don’t appear. Instead, when I think of Lily, those feelings but a hundred times stronger come. “I love Talia as well though. I can’t just forget about that.”
My dad is well aware of my feelings for my brothers’ mate. He’s never liked it; I know he’s been wishing for me to meet my mate. But now that I’ve found her, I know this is not how he wanted it to go.
My dad sighs angrily, “Talia is not your mate though. I love that girl like she’s my own kid but she’s not for you. That blonde girl is supposed to be your world. In fact, I can see it in your eyes. You’re trying to hide it but you like this girl a lot. So why are you ignoring your feelings?”
He knows. He knows I’m just scared.
“I’m scared of her…scared of my life with her. Scared of possibly losing her. Scared of the future.” I admit, swallowing harshly.
My dad’s eyes soften. “That’s okay son. I was scared when I first met your mom, I thought she was too good for me but that didn’t stop me from pursuing her. She is the light of my life and I would never give up on her. Not for the world.”
My mom and dad have been together for a very long time now. They love each other so much, it’s inspiring. They are an amazing Alpha and Luna; they lean on each other for support.
“There’s more though, isn’t there?” My dad questions after a minute, noticing my hesitancy still. I nod my head, taking in a shaky breath.
“I’ve loved Talia for a long time now, but she’s never reciprocated my feelings. Lily claims she has feelings for me but what if they disappear one day? Do you know how it feels to not be loved back by someone? To love them entirely but not be noticed. Lily…she might hate me when she discovers what I am. I’m just preparing myself now because she’s going to find out soon. If I’m not with her, things will be okay.” I explain it to him, putting everything out on the table.
My dad takes big strides to me and wraps an arm around me. My dad and I don’t hug often so when we do, it’s definitely something.
“Thank you,” I tell him, sincerely. He pulls back, frowning.
I send him a small smile. “For listening.”
When it feels like it’s getting awkward, we step further back and chuckle.
“I didn’t see that girl for long, probably because I scared her,” My dad starts, earning a chuckle from me at his last comment. “But she was putting herself out there, every part of herself, for you. She likes you, Arlo. In fact, she loves you. And love is a powerful feeling. She’ll stick by you when she finds out because she can’t live without you.”
I process his words thoughtfully. I have always undermined love, seeing it as something that keeps me away from people. But it doesn’t stop me from being with people, I’m stopping me. Sure, with Talia I could never be with her anyways but with Lily, I have been holding back. Not her.
Lily is my mate. My chance at one true love.
And for the past few months, I’ve been acting like someone who doesn’t want love. I’ve been brushing it off like a piece of dust when its so much more than that. She is so much more than that.
I have been an absolute fool.
“God, I’m such an idiot. How could I have not thought this through?” I groan, running a tired hand down my face.
“You were just being the average eighteen-year-old boy. An idiot.” My dad replies, amusement dancing in his eyes. “Now you better go after your girl, I have a feeling you have some work to do to win her back.”
Oh boy, was he right.
As I was walking back to my room, Talia decided it would be a great time to pounce on me.
With a determined expression written on her face and eyes narrowed, she looks like a young mother ready to reprimand her child. Let me tell you now, I’m very worried about the way she is staring at me.
“Do you mind explaining to me why your dad decided to show up in wolf form when you were with Lily?” She demands, placing a sassy hand on her hip.
I arch an eyebrow but don’t question her attitude. “I don’t know. It was stupid though.”
“Yeah, it was!” She yells, throwing her arms up in the air. “Lily was freaked out and she’s suspicious of us now. I can smell it on her.”
Alarm bells ring off in my mind. I know Lily will eventually discover our kind. It’s inevitable. She’s part of our world now—she has been the moment the Moon Goddess paired me with her. I know that now.
I just don’t want her to find out about wolves yet. I want my chance to redeem myself.
“Is she okay? I can imagine she’s confused as hell and a bit stunned.” I can’t help but ask, wanting to know how my mate is doing.
Talia’s resolve softens. She places a friendly hand on my arm and nods her head. “Yeah, I calmed her down. She’s gone to lessons.”
Releasing a sigh of relief, I relax my body. My mind and wolf feel a lot more at ease now, glad she’s not freaking out.
“You know, I’m glad you’re finally accepting her as your mate,” Talia states, nonchalantly.
My head snaps to hers in shock. I open my mouth and close it, not knowing what to say to that. For a few moments, I just stare at her, stunned. Then, when I get over the initial shock, curiosity takes over. How did she find out? Was it that obvious? Has she told anyone else?
“How—what?” I stammer and immediately curse myself internally for appearing like that. Real smooth, Arlo.
Talia smiles and shakes her head at me. “I can’t believe the others haven’t seen it yet! You are so obvious. I admit it did take me a while to work it out but whilst I did, I couldn’t believe I was such an idiot.”
Well, there’s that. I guess I’m not good at hiding things. My brother and third in command must be oblivious. Even Kacey somehow worked it out! I’m sure Trinity is onto us and the rest of the pack have noticed a shift in me and her. So basically, my brother and Cabe are the only ones who haven’t noticed anything.
“When I found out, I was so p*ssed about how you treated her when you first met her. Lily is the kindest person I’ve ever met. She didn’t deserve anything like that. But you’ve been different around her recently. Actually, you’ve been different in general. Now I see she’s changing you, even if you don’t realize it.” Talia comments, honestly. “You might still be fighting the mate bond but you’re giving in. I can see it.”
A million thoughts race through my head but none of them is spoken aloud. I want to thank Talia for her words and for being there for Lily. I want to tell her she’s going to be an amazing Luna. But I don’t need to because she already knows.
“I’m not fighting it anymore,” I announce, proudly. “I’m done with that. Lily is my mate and I want her.”
Talia’s eyes shine brightly, and her smile is infectious. She starts jumping up and down, clapping. “I’m so happy! Yes! This is going to be amazing for her.” She squeals, attracting the attention of a few students who are bunking lessons.
I can see Talia really cares for Lily. She defends her, sticks by her and helps her. It’s the same for Lily as well, she truly cares for Talia. They have an unbreakable friendship.
“I have to ask you one thing, Talia.” I suddenly blurt out, having the urge to find out something I have been wondering for years. Talia stops jumping up and down, sensing the now serious atmosphere and puts on a straight face. “Have you been aware of my feelings for you?”
My question throws her off. She visibly stills and looks uncertain.
Then, the tables are turned, when she masks any of it and plasters a small, friendly smile on her face.
“I have always known, Arlo.” She finally answers, with a steady breath and watery eyes. I suck in a breath and register the words she has spoken to me. The truth.
For so long, I have wondered if she’s known. A part of me wished she didn’t just so I could keep the delusional up that she had feelings for me too. I knew, deep down in the pit of my stomach that she didn’t love me. I would never be for her—Arden is her rock. Her life.
I think hearing that she has known but never chosen to act on it gives me relief and closure. Sure, I’m mad she never said anything but if I put myself in her shoes, I wouldn’t know what to do either. She did what she thought was best.
I don’t hate her for not telling me. I would never hate her. I’m just glad I now know.
I want to move on, and this is something I have always needed to know. Her answer confirms what I have always known—and hated—and has given me the motivation to take a step forward.
“I didn’t know…I didn’t know what to say to you,” She says nervously, biting her lip. Her eyes glow with worry—she’s worried I’m mad. “I didn’t want things to change between us.”
I place both hands on her shoulders and force her to stare directly into my eyes. “I’m not mad. I promise.”
She searches my eyes for any deceit. When she finds none, she blows out a breath and pulls me in for a hug. I relish it for a moment, thankful for the comfort.
“We should find Arden,” Talia mumbles when she pulls away. I used to feel a pang of sadness whenever she talked about my brother but now, I feel nothing but happiness for him. Nodding my head, we begin our trek to my room where we know Arden will be, with my father.
After my talk with my father, Arden and Cabe arrived. I left them to deal with pack business whilst I went to clear my head for a bit. If my dad is visiting for pack business, they go to our room because it’s Arden’s office as well.
As we suspected, Arden, Cabe and my father are all stood around the desk, talking. They all look up to our entrance.
“Everything better, Arlo?” My father asks me, straightening up.
“Yes,” I reply simply and head over to the desk. A map of the school’s grounds is laid out, with red X’s drawn on in certain locations. “Is this where all the attacks took place?”
My brother steps in to answer, “Yes, we are trying to find a pattern. The red X’s are where the rogue has either been spotted or where he’s attacked, someone.”
“Any new leads?” Talia asks, concerned. Arden told her about the attacks over the Halloween break, causing Talia to flip out at him. She was furious that he kept it from her.
They shake their heads, “We had a sighting yesterday, but it was late at night and at the edge of the border. They couldn’t chase him because he was gone very quickly.”
Frustration fills the air. All of us are mad about this rogue—we haven’t been able to track him down at all. The pack is on high alert, ready for an attack. Most of the students remain inside at night. If they do venture out, they stay in small groups. This is a serious matter in the werewolf world. If this rogue continues to harass our pack, my dad will have to turn to the council.
“This rogue is clever. He knows what’s at stake if he gets caught.” I state, grinding my teeth together. Most rogues don’t care about the consequences, they just go for it. However, this rogue isn’t impulsive, he’s calculative.
We all sit with our thoughts for a few minutes, pondering over what to do.
Eventually, Arden is the one to break the silence. He releases a tired sigh and drags a hand through his now messy brown hair. His eyes find mine and pin me down. “I don’t know what to do,” He says, truly lost.
Pressing my lips together solemnly, I exhale loudly. “Neither do I.”
Okay, I'm in such a rush to get out this chapter out so I didn't have a lot of time to edit it. I wanted to get it out to you guys now though because I said I would post a new chapter on Monday. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed it.
P.S. I will definitely come back and edit this.
My next update will probably be Friday (I'm super busy this week guys so chances are that's the only day I'll be able to write).