I tumbled into the body of another wolf much larger than me, he stiffened but didn’t move. I scampered away from him, turning to look at the large building in front of me.
It was exquisite, much more lavish than the pack house back home although not as large. It was dark, fitting into the forest behind it, covered in polished wood, stacking stones, and windows that sprawled out across entire rooms. A frigid wind blew, sending a shiver up my arms; it was much colder here than back home.
The Enforcer stood beside me, allowing me to take notice of his mansion. I looked up at him and he smirked back down at me. Even though I wasn’t short, he made me feel small. I was lanky, taller than some other human girls, but wolves tended to be larger than most humans.
He walked forward towards the front doors. I stayed back a moment until he turned and opened his eyes a little wider, beckoning me to come forward. A man opened the door for us and we walked in slowly. He took a scan of his home, making eye contact with the other men inside, and then relaxed visibly.
He shrugged out of his suit jacket and placed it on a nearby gray couch. He walked forward again, grabbing arms with the two men who sat at a glass table along a light colored, wooden backdrop. I stayed back by the foyer, breathing nervously, not knowing what to do in the unfamiliar environment. He spoke for a few moments with the men, smiling and laughing, looking happy and relaxed. I glanced around nervously, looking at the muscular men who stood next to me, staring down at me blankly.
“Margo,” The Enforcer called for me, extending his arm to welcome me. I stumbled forward slowly, flattening my dress, and took my place a foot away from him. He smiled at me and reached a hand up to run it affectionately over my hair; I flinched.
“This is the human girl, Margo, from Dorian’s pack,” he introduced me. The men at the table looked me up and down, smiling at the Enforcer again. I shook under their gazes, desperately looking around the room for a door to escape through.
“She won’t last a day with you,” The fair, blond one smirked, laughing loudly. His counterpart smacked his arm and rolled his eyes.
“I’m sure you two will have a lot of fun together,” The dark skinned one chuckled, trying to be less crass than his friend. It did little to comfort me and tears formed in the corners of my eyes though I willed them not to drop.
The blond took notice of my tearful state and looked down sorrowfully. The Enforcer grabbed my arm again, wanting me to turn towards him, but I struggled to stay stationary.
“Hey,” he said softer, trying to gain my attention. My lip wavered once more. He sighed, put his arm around my back again, and began to lead me to a set of floating, wooden steps. I looked back as I took the first step, begging someone to save me. They all looked down as a whimper escaped my throat and Theo pressed on my back more firmly.
When we reached the top of the steps, we went down a long hallway and turned right. There was a room at the end of the hall, glass covered with privacy shaded frost. He opened the door gently and held it until I walked in. The room was dark apart from the far wall which was all glass and allowed light to enter the room. The walls kept with the smooth wood from the first level, a bed sat in front of us, large, white, and covered with gray and white pillows. On the opposite wall from the bed was a television on a large, slate gray, metal dresser. There were doors opening to a closet and a bathroom on either side of the television.
The Enforcer stood behind me, near the door, observing me as I looked around the room. I noticed him staring and turned back to him, bowing my head to show my submission.
“Margo,” he said lightly, stepping forward. I took a step back and he stopped momentarily before stalking ahead. “You’re afraid of me,” he noted.
I glared accusingly but said nothing.
“You tore me away from my family,” I spat, the nervous fluctuation in my voice making my words appear less intimidating than I meant them to be.
“Those people were not your family,” he said back. “You’re an orphan, correct?”
“They were the closest thing I had. They cared for me.”
“I will care for you from now on, little one,” he said softer now, placing a hand on my shoulder, stroking the exposed skin with his thumb. I pulled my shoulder back but he didn’t let go.
“I don’t want you to care for me in that way,” I growled.
“In what way?” He asked sincerely, dropping his hand.
“I know how you wolves are. You bring me up to your bedroom within five minutes of us being here,” I gestured around me.
“I wanted to give us some privacy, you seemed rather intimidated by my friends, and we need to have an important conversation,” he explained.
“They said I wouldn’t last a day with you,” I wailed, the emotional toll beginning to take over. “You said you wondered how long it would take to make me scream!”
He shook his head in regret, untucking his shirt from his slacks. “Margo,” he whispered.
“Don’t you dare say my name,” I told him, wrapping my arms around my stomach.
“I realize my words may have seemed a bit harsh, and I apologize for that, but I had a reason. I needed your Alpha to think I was going to kill you,” he said, sitting on the edge of the bed to undo the buttons around his wrists.
“You aren’t going to kill me?”
“Then why say those things?” I asked, shaking my head in confusion, curls falling in my eyes at the movement.
“Because if the world around us knew I found my mate, they would use you against me,” he said, standing up and folding his shirt sleeves up to his elbows. I stepped back, trying to make sense of his words.
“What?” I breathed out.
“I knew you were my mate the first moment I stepped out of that car. If they saw me be gentle towards you, they would use you against me; hurt you, take you, and I couldn’t allow that to happen. Not until I have security measures in place, not until I know I can keep you safe.”
“I can’t be your mate,” I said accusingly. “You’re lying. You said you never heard of a human being mate to a powerful wolf like this.” I glanced around me, stumbling back towards the door.
“Margo, I know this must be confusing. I will explain everything to you, come sit on the bed. I’ll find something for you to wear other than that dress, it’s filthy.” He stood up and went over the closet, rifling through some clothes. I turned quickly and threw the door open again, running down the hallway, trying to find my way back to the stairs.
I heard him curse loudly and his thunderous footsteps followed mine twice as fast. I saw the staircase and rushed down it, missing a step towards the bottom which only propelled me faster. I didn’t care what the wolves on the main floor thought about me. This wasn’t about my reputation; this was about my life.
“Margo,” The Enforcer called, standing at the bottom of the stairs.
I raced to the front door and pulling it open. The same man who opened the door for us now stood outside, guarding it from intruders, or possibly escapees. He looked surprised when he saw me, and I took that moment to jump down the three steps and towards the open woods around us.
Someone grabbed my arm, another guard, who pulled me to a stop and held me until the Enforcer approached us. I begged the man to let me go but he held me firmly, bruising my freckled arm.
The Enforcer nodded to the guard and took me from his grasp. I fell to the ground as they transferred me. I crumbled down, burying my head in my arms.
“Margo,” he whispered as he knelt next to me, his hands stroking my hair soothingly. I didn’t make any attempt to move and he said my name more assertively.
“Enforcer, please,” I whimpered, the sound muffled by my arms.
“Theo,” he said softly, sounding pained. “My name is Theo.”
When I didn’t respond again, he gathered me in his arms and brought me back inside the house. My curly hair shielded me from the other wolves downstairs as the Enforcer brought me back upstairs and set me on the side of the bed. I pushed his arms away and he set them right back on mine, forcing me to sit still.
He knelt in front of me, taking the dirty sandals off my feet, setting them next to the nightstand on the side of the bed. His hand lingered on my skin, taking notice of a bruise his hand created in the car. He gathered the clothes he pulled out from the closet and set them on the bed beside me. His hands parted my hair, pushing it back so he could see my red, tear stained face.
“Would you like to have a bath? It might calm you down,” he offered. I looked up at him through my tears. I shook under his steady, sad, gaze. “Come on.” He helped me stand and led me to the bathroom where there was a large, curved, soaking bathtub in the right corner. He drew the water, pouring some soap in it as it filled so bubbles covered the surface of the water.
“Do you need help?” He asked, noticing I was still visibly shaking. I shook my head quickly, no. He nodded. “I’ll be back in a moment then.” He left the bathroom, shutting the door most of the way behind him. I pulled the string that held the back of the dress together and slid it down my body. I took my bra and underwear off and placed them under the dress, out of his view. The water was warm as I slid into it, sinking far enough down so the bubbles covered everything up to my shoulders.
The Enforcer knocked on the door once and then entered, walking over to sit beside the tub on a small stool. I kept my gaze on the bubbled water until I felt his hands touch my hair. I lurched forward, leaning over so that I was hunched over my knees.
“Margo, please, I’m not going to hurt to you,” he said gently, resting his hands on the edge of tub. “Let me take care of you, that’s all I want.” I didn’t dare move.
He grabbed a soft sponge and dipped in the water and began to run it down my spine, brushing my hair aside to reach my shoulder. He continued to do this until he was satisfied and then moved his stool, so he could wash my hands and arms. He continued to wash my fingers, gently scrubbing the dirt from beneath my fingernails, and then moved to the end of the bathtub to do the same to my feet. My leg emerged from the water, only up to the knee. He cleaned my toes from the dirt and a few cuts I got from running outside.
With his hands on me, it was hard to focus on anything other than the claws that lurked on the other side of his skin.
Once my body was clean, he came behind me once more and washed my hair. I closed my eyes and tried to relax but it was difficult. Under his touch I would surely perish, why should I allow him to bring me comfort before? I was completely clean, my skin soft and warm from the bath. He left the room for a moment, so I could change into the clothes he brought me: a pair of gray sweatpants and a black shirt. The clothes were large on my frame, but they were warm and modest.
I stepped out from the bathroom, finding Theo sitting on the edge of the bed waiting for me. He stood up quickly, coming to meet me as I stumbled in his clothes like a fawn. He bent down and started folding the sweatpants up so my feet were exposed. When he was finished, he stood up again and looked over me.
“Would you like to sleep? You didn’t at all on the drive, you must be exhausted.”
I shook my head no, not wanting to have my guard down around him.
“No one will hurt you, I’ll make sure of it,” he promised adamantly.
“It’s not everyone else I’m worried about,” I said quietly but with strength against him. He looked sad again and began shaking his head.
“Margo, I won’t ever hurt you.”
I held my wrist up, showing him the bruise he left on me earlier. The one on my upper arm hurt as well as the one on my ankle.
“Little one,” e hall but whimpered.
“Don’t call me that,” I said softly.
“Margo,” he tried again. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know how fragile you were before. I didn’t mean to hurt you, I promise. I will do better.”
“I’m not fragile,” I hissed. He went and sat against the bed again.
“You are, Margo,” he insisted. “Come sleep, I won’t touch you.”
I waited a few moments, allowing my tired muscles and eyes persuade me into sleep. I went and stood at the other side of the bed. Theo reached over and pulled the cover back, revealing soft, silky sheets. I climbed in slowly and laid on my side, away from him. He pulled the covers farther over me and pushed my hair back before leaving the room. Though the sun streamed through the room, I fell fast asleep, allowing it to heal my body and mind.
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