Chapter Thirty Two
TOMORROW was Ava's birthday so Lucas was making sure everything was prepared. He had double checked that his surprise was ready and wanted to finish all of his work so he could be free on that day.
Sabrina had taken his mate away to the shopping centre and with much persuasion, Lucas managed to make Ava take his credit card. She was reluctant to and always hated using his money but he insisted.
She had argued that she had her own money to spend now. He remembered her adorably large smile as she said it. Lucas knew how proud she was that she know had gotten a job and it was only a few days ago since she announced that she wanted to start looking for one. At first Lucas was hesitant. He was used to doing things for her and didn't really want to feel like she didn't need him anymore.
But, when he saw the excitement she had from the idea of having a job of her own, he couldn't find it in himself to say anything bad about it. Lucas had taken her around the village so she could hand out her CV and as soon as they reached Joe and told him she was looking for a job, he immediately offered her one in the ice cream parlour.
Ava didn't even notice that it wasn't how other people normally get jobs but he didn't want to tell her that she was given special treatment because she knew the owner. He couldn't after she was already bouncing on the balls of her feet and he swore there were already a few tears of happiness.
She kept asking whether he was proud of her and of course, he said he was immensely proud. It was true. His little Ava wasn't relying on him as much but she was doing what she wanted and he couldn't be happier.
He was also glad she had made a female friend, even more so that it was someone who is a little protective of her too. Although, he was a little wary of Sabrina as he hoped she wouldn't be a bad influence on his innocent Ava.
Lucas, however, didn't take to her other new friend, Edward. Or Eddie as Ava seemed to call him. The boy followed her around like a lost puppy, always wanting to talk to her. Lucas didn't like it. He was cautious of his intentions, especially knowing that Edward had no mate. But, it wasn't as if he could do anything about her choice in company.
Wanting to rid his thoughts of all the possible bad things that could happen to Ava, he decided to take a break and get a snack. As he reached the kitchen and got a bottle of water out of the fridge, Edward's mother walked in.
"Oh hello, Alpha." She said, bowing her head in respect.
"Meredith." He greeted the woman.
She was a short pudgy woman, however her resemblance to her son was obvious in their facial features. Lucas hadn't really talked to the new pack member since they arrived, other than to welcome them to the pack. She was a lovely woman, apparently having already made friendships with many of the pack ladies. From their brief encounters she seemed like the mother that smothers their child and attempts to bake everything but ends up buying the cake from a supermarket.
She looked innocent enough but Lucas couldn't be too sure, especially since her son had taken an interest in Ava. It was a little suspicious that he'd instantly become friends with the future Luna. He thought that it would be a good time to get more information on Edward and be sure they didn't have ill intentions. The pack didn't need anymore drama.
"So Meredith," he started, startling the woman as the Alpha hadn't made any attempt to make small talk previously. "Why did you and your son move to this small town?"
The woman's eyes widened at the slightly interrogatory tone in his voice. Lucas wasn't really good at acting casual when he was on edge. "Erm. We previously lived in the city, as you know," Lucas remembered her mentioning it when he questioned them briefly before accepting them into the pack, "and it was just no place for a wolf. For some, it can be manageable or even preferred but Eddie felt too constricted. It was hard having to travel two hours just to shift in a safe environment. I wanted Eddie to feel what it was like to be free like I did when I was growing up. So, I transferred jobs and we moved here."
He hummed in response to her reasonable explanation. He had already done a background search on them and everything matched. It still didn't tell him whether Edward wanted to steal his mate away from him. Not that he could.
"Edward mentioned something a few days ago." There was a pregnant pause as he thought about how he could subtly mention Edward's dead mate. "He said his mate died?"
Meredith's eyes saddened and she looked down, holding onto the counter top. She let out a deep breath, before shaking her head sadly. "Unfortunately, you are correct Alpha. Ester was a beautiful, kind girl and we only had a year with her until she got cancer. She was human and no matter how much Eddie prayed and wished, he couldn't save her. No one could."
Lucas felt guilty as he listened, carefully watching to see if he needed to call for someone to comfort the woman if she started to cry. He felt bad for Edward as he didn't even want to imagine what it would be like if Ava were to die. His heart painfully clenched at the mere thought.
"She fought that battle for two years until she passed away. We thought she was getting better and we still had hope she'd pull through, right until the second she took her last breath. I think my poor Eddie would've been been in denial if it wasn't for the pain he felt in his heart. I know what it's like to lose a mate, even if mine is across the world with his supermodel girlfriend. The mate bond is unbelievable and to lose one to death..." She didn't finish the sentence but the effect remained and Lucas had an idea of what it would feel like. Although, he knew it wouldn't even be close to the actual feeling. He hoped he'd never have to experience it anyway.
"I'm sorry for your lose Meredith." He said with a voice deep with remorse.
The woman smiled at him. "I think that's why my Eddie had taken a liking to your Ava. Ester was a lot like her. Beautiful, innocent, happy. But don't worry Alpha, he doesn't see her in the way you do. His heart still belongs to Ester and it always will be. I'm sure of it."
Lucas' shoulders sagged in relief as he grinned at her, which surprised her greatly. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. You know, Ava is such a lovely person. She taught me how to make cookies and now I put raisin cookies into Eddie's packed lunch everyday!" She beamed.
He chuckled in response, remembering how Edward would frown at his packed lunch he was forced to bring into college. Suddenly, his wolf was alert and his senses heightened as the scent of his mate neared the house.
"Excuse me." He muttered to Meredith but didn't wait for a reply as he walked towards the front door and waited with his water bottle still in his hands.
A few seconds later, his mate ran through the door and her face immediately lit up at the sight of him in front of her. He was sure his face did the same as his whole body felt lighter just by being around her. Every negative feeling was washed away.
"Lu Lu!" She screamed in delight, before running to him in full force. Luckily for him, he caught her in time without toppling over, dropping his water in the process.
His hands automatically went to her bum when her legs wrapped tightly around his waist and her arms around his neck. "Hi." Ava said shyly. A small blush coated her cheeks, probably embarrassed at the reaction to seeing him. He internally cooed at how adorable she was.
Lucas smiled and then pressed his lips on to her, moving them in synch passionately. "D'you miss me?" He asked when they pulled apart.
At that point, Sabrina came through the door, hauling several large bags with various different brands labelled on them. She dropped them all onto the floor and let out a large, exaggerated breath. "Of course she missed you. Throughout the whole trip she couldn't stop whining about how she wanted to go home because she missed her Lu Lu. Didn't even help with all the bags before running into the house." Sabrina rolled her eyes playfully as Ava just snuggled her head into his neck.
"Sorry Sabby." She mumbled, knowing that she'd be able to hear.
Sabrina's face immediately distorted, cringing at the terrible nickname, while Lucas couldn't help but do the same thing. "Ew. Gross. You really suck at giving nicknames, girl." She said to Ava.
"Anyway, did you girls buy everything you wanted?" Lucas asked them both, though his question was mainly directed at Ava. He was happy when he saw all the bags because he told her to buy whatever she wanted and he didn't want her to hold back. If it made her happy, he'd do anything to make sure she had it.
"Yeppers." She replied into his neck, still not letting her grip loosen.
"Well, I did. Connor's going to have big surprise when he checks his bank statement." Sabrina laughed until realisation set in and a worried look was left on her face. "I'm just going to go upstairs. Make a few calls. Run away and hide forever."
Lucas watched her carry all the bags in her two hands. He would've offered to help but his hands were full of Ava.
"Here's your bag babe." Sabrina said to his mate.
He felt her wiggle to detach herself from his body so he let her down, gently onto the ground. Ava thanked her, when she received the bad and then waved as Sabrina walked away.
Lucas' eyebrows furrowed in confusion as he stared at the single regular-sized bag. "Wait, did she just steal all your stuff?"
She giggled and rubbed the space between his eyebrows. "No. This is all I bought."
The Alpha groaned and pouted at her. "Avaaa. I thought you was going to go on a shopping spree. I wanted to spoil you." He whined. Lucas was serious despite his joking manner.
"I promise I did. There just wasn't anything I really liked and I think I prefer to window shop now." She replied.
"But still. I thought y- "
"Look, I bought you cookies!" Ava interrupted him mid sentence and held a box of cookies right in his face.
He took them off her and noticed they were pistachio and almond cookies. Lucas grumbled under his breath as he opened the box, trying yet failing, to hide his eagerness. Only, when he opened it, he saw that the packet inside the box was already broken into. He couldn't contain his gasp as he saw the half empty box of cookies.
"The box is half empty!" He shouting incredulously, staring at his sneaky mate in disbelief.
"Or half full?" She had the nerve to wink at him.
One day with Sabrina and this already happens?! Lucas dread to think of what would happen if they were to spend more time together.
"You cheeky thing." He poked her side. It made him laugh to see how much she squirmed and laughed from just a simple poke in her most ticklish spot.
"Don't tickle me Lucas! I have to talk to you about something." She pleaded. Her head turned to the discarded water bottle on the floor, that he previously dropped, and picked it up, before taking a sip from it.
Lucas' jaw tightened at the sound of his full name coming from her mouth. She hardly ever said it so whatever she needed to ask must've been serious. He waited anxiously for her to speak. He was also a little nervous as he rattled his brain for anything he could've possible done wrong.
He studied her face that held no sadness nor anger. Just mostly curiosity. "Sabrina said that her and Connor had marked each other." She stated but it sounded like a question. "What does that mean?"
Lucas raised an eyebrow. "Did you ask her?"
She nodded her head. "Yeah but she said to ask you."
He thought for a moment about how to word it, remembering how his father explained it to him when he was younger. "Well, only mates can do it to one another. It's something that binds the two together for eternity, even more than they already are. It will make the mate bond even stronger and nearly impossible for them to leave each others side. It gets easier over time but the thing is that you don't wouldn't want to leave them. The love you feel is a thousand times magnified." He said, pausing to give her time to understand what he was saying.
"When a wolf bites into a human, it will make them able to mind link with their mate and the pack. They'll also be stronger, faster and have better healing than any another human. They'll be very weak against a born wolf though." He finished.
Ava's eyes were wide as she took all the information in. "But how does it work?" She asked with fascination.
"One would have to bite into the neck of the other. They can do it to each other but it doesn't really change anything as the connection has already been made." He explained carefully, whilst judging her reaction.
"B-bite?! Won't that hurt?" Her eyes filled with fear and her hand instinctively went to her neck, the place Lucas had wanted to sink his canines into for years as he dreamed of marking her as his.
He pulled her hand to hold her body to his own and placed gently kisses on her neck trailing up and down slowly. Lucas sucked and nibbled on her sweet spot, producing a love bite on the place he'd mark her. He knew she enjoyed it as her head moved to the side, allowing him further access to her soft skin and light whimpers escaped her rosy lips.
"Lucas." A barely audible, sensual moan from Ava made him reluctantly pull back. He smiled in satisfaction at the claim he had placed on her neck for all to see.
"No, Ava baby. It won't hurt because that didn't hurt did it?" He asked with his forehead resting on hers.
She bit her lip innocently, unaware of what she was doing to him. "N-no. I guess not. It felt g-good." She was always much more shy after they did anything more than a peck on the lips. So adorable. All mine.
Lucas smirked and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, whilst caressing her face. "So when I mark you, you will feel pleasure. And you know I would never ever hurt you." He said.
"C-can I ask you another question?" She asked nervously, confusing him for a second.
He rubbed her back to hopefully ease her nerves and relax her. He had given her a lot of information and Lucas didn't want to overwhelm her. "Of course, baby. Ask me anything."
"How come you haven't marked me yet?" Her voice was barely above a whisper yet he still heard it. The hurt in her voice rang in his ears and he only saw the sadness in her eyes for a second before she looked down.
His fingers held her chin to lift her head back up, meeting his gaze. "I've wanted to mark you ever since I knew what it was. Trust me. I have to contain myself every time I'm with you or I get an image of your beautiful, angelic self in my head. It's torturing me to have you walk around unmated males and humans without my mark on your neck and I want nothing more than to have everyone know that you're mine."
He kissed Ava's pouty lips. Lucas could tell from her facial expression she was waiting for the 'but' that was to come. "But, I know you're not ready. After you're marked, you'll go into heat in a few weeks which makes your body crave intimacy. You'll be in pain if the mating process isn't completed and for you, it'll be even worse and impossible to withstand because I'm an Alpha. You're pushed into having sex to start the process of making an heir to the pack. You're not ready to have sex, baby. But it's ok, because we'll wait for as long as we have to."
Their fingers intertwined together as he stared into her eyes lovingly. "But," she said, "I'm ready."
The words rang in Lucas' head repeatedly as they processed. "R-ready?" He spluttered. It was all so sudden and he had no time to prepare for it. He didn't even know how to prepare for a moment like this as he wanted everything to be perfect for his baby. He wanted to treat her better than all the men she had read about in romance novels.
Lucas' chest stung painfully when disappointment spread all across Ava's face with tears that rimmed her blue eyes. "Y-you don't have to. It's ok. Really. I understand."
"Baby, of course I want to. Believe me, I really want to." He got hard just thinking about it. "But I wanted our first time to be special for you. For us."
A large grin overtook her face, making him chuckle. "Really?!" She asked.
"Yeah. I love you." He reminded her, adoringly.
Surprisingly, Ava clutched the back of his neck and crushed her lips to his. When they eventually pulled back after a lot of kissing, a lot of groping and a lot of love, she replied with, "ditto."
Thank you for reading!
@Nikolai_Watson critiques books and he offered to do mine. He gives great advice and an unbiased opinion. If you're interested, his fiverr is,
I really love this beautiful cover sent by @EleniV85
Was lucky enough to be sent another amazing cover. This one is by @JessssieAlex
@AnjaliVerma079 wrote this poem for the book and it actually made me speechless.
I am only his; I will always be his
I am his angel; He is my devil
I am his beauty; He is my beast
I am his love; He is my life
I am his flower; He is my knight
He has a different angel now; But he is always my devil
He has a new beauty now; But he is always my beast
He has a pretty flower now; But now I am my own knight
But I always was his; I will always be his
I truly appreciate all the things people have sent me and I love them all. YOU GUYS ARE SO TALENTED!
WORD COUNT: 3244
Much love <3