I pulled the hotel door shut behind me, noticing the ugly red carpet under the door was extremely worn. This place definitely needed a touch up or two. But then again, so had every other hotel we had stayed in this part of the world. Worn out pub hotels, the places where people go when they want to hide or blend-in. At least that’s what we had hoped to do while searching around for Kelly.
But the wolves in this country were too wary of outsiders, to the point that it was hindering our search. Back on the Reservation if an outsider came on asking for help and was respectful, the Alpha and Beta would always assist. But here, as soon as I approached them, they raised their hackles like I had declared war. The Weres of this country had definitely seen some shit.
Since my father could remember that Ewan Jones seemed like an outlaw on the run, we didn’t even try using Kelly’s name, just a description and the timeline. A blonde, American woman, new to town. If the Alphas or the pub owners even did answer us, it was always the same, nothing.
Nothing for the last three weeks of searching.
I felt like the lead of ‘Ewan Jones had a Welsh Accent’ was just about to fizzle out and I was nearly depressed with the thought. Through all the searching of JJ International’s office, all of the hints at foreign investments never really seemed like a place Jolene or Kelly would go. The computer in the cave that Kelly’s former friend had been smashing up when he died was useless and I wanted to murder him all over for it.
So here we were, resolved that this probably wasn’t the way to find her, and we had tickets for tomorrow’s ferry to Dublin for our flight out. Margaret had said she thought Kelly and her mother would return sooner or later to the commune, maybe I just had to play the waiting game, and lose my goddamn mind in the interim.
Following Jess down the stairs, I bumped into him right before stopping dead in my tracks.
Suddenly, she was standing in front of me. My Kelly, but not mine. Her hair was different than what I had ever known but suited her to more than the wild blonde ever did. Three weeks of searching this damn wet country and here she was. Looking fresh faced with wind swept hair, my Venus riding a clam shell.
We locked eyes for a quick moment and I stepped forward for her when her happy face changed to alarmed as if she remembered where we were.
Her hand hanging at her side suddenly waved me off, like she wanted me to keep my distance. I paused mid-stride in confusion. She turned to look into the main bar and I followed her gaze. A tall man in a plaid shirt and jeans was walking away from us, over towards the fireplace. He sat at one of the tables that a group of men were waving to him. I turned back to her and her face was worried as she looked at him.
Her head glanced back to me and she softly mouthed, “Later, bathrooms.”
What the fuck? I shook my head to disagree. I had finally found her and she wanted to shake me off? I took a step closer to claim my girl, only for Jesse to lay a strong hand on my shoulder holding me back. He whispered in my ear.
“Hold on, brother. Something is going on here, just wait it out.”
Kelly hadn’t waited and continued into the main bar area, up near the large fireplace at the table full of other people. Jess pushed past me and entered the large room, taking a table near the entrance, the opposite end to Kelly. I remained rooted to the spot, my eyes glued to her. She was shaking hands with the people at the table and kept a polite smile on her face.
“Sit the fuck down.” Jess leaned back over to whisper.
After a moment, I took the remaining seat and glared over towards the table, trying to listen in on the conversation. The men were talking about a cave that Kelly had just visited and recounting memories there. She kept the polite smile, but didn’t engage in the conversation. A waitress came over to us after a few moments and Jess ordered lunch for both of us along with two beers.
The tall bearded man suddenly put his arm around the back of Kelly’s chair and I tensed at the action, as apparently so did Kelly, if only slightly. Jess leaned forward towards me,
“Bro, stop fucking glaring daggers at the table, otherwise soon that Alpha is going to notice.”
I paused and looked back at him. “Alpha?” Jess grimaced.
“I caught it before you came down. Plus, that size and attitude. Just play it cool, man, be happy for a moment. We found her.”
I leaned back into my seat. He was right. She was here. She didn’t seem harmed, in fact she looked healthy and strong. It didn’t appear that she was going to be taking off suddenly, like this was a home base. She was here. But with some dude, an Alpha no less. Had she given up on me?
For a moment, my heart palpitated in anxiety. Not in a million years did I think my Kelly would be with another man. At the table opposite the room, her eyes briefly flashed over to our table and our eyes met, a brief grin coming over her face. I grinned back. No, she was still my Kelly. Whatever was going on, that much I could feel.
Just as quick, her attention flicked back to the table, where a waitress was bringing out armfuls of plates for everyone seated. Conversation at the table turned to something to do with sports and the tall Alpha turned his body to Kelly for their own private conversation and I closed my eyes to focus on them.
“...came this morning, hopefully.”
“You bought me clothes?” Kelly asked.
“You were nearly out, right? Unfortunately, we don’t really have any big stores around here, so I ordered some through a friend.”
Kelly paused and I opened my eyes to her. She was staring down at her plate of food, with a thoughtful expression. After a moment, she looked back up to him with a smile.
“Thank you, that was kind.”
He returned the smile and leaned in, “It’s just mostly a lot of what you already wear, but there is something special in there for your big night.”
Big night? I scrunched my brows together and looked to Jess, who shrugged with the same puzzled expression.
Kelly took another forkful of her lunch, and grinned so she didn’t have to respond. The waitress now returned to our table with two burgers and a pitcher of beer. Jess dug into his, while I kept my subtle attention on Kelly.
She looked tired, but was putting on a good show with her fake smile. The one that didn’t reach her cheeks or show her gums. His hand was still around her chair, occasionally, his fingers would lift up to brush her shoulder and each time they did, she would move slightly in response and her eyes glanced towards me.
The men at the table drew Kelly’s escort into a discussion and she turned her body slightly away from them all.
From the lobby area, a large group of maybe ten men came into the main bar and suddenly the room seemed very crowded. With no more tables left, the men filled the standing area and were jovial and loud. The smells coming off the group made my nose twitch, fish. These were fishermen from the harbor across the road.
Between the moving men, I glanced at Kelly, who caught my eye and twitched her head slightly behind her. I clasped Jess by the shoulder and said, “Wish me luck,” to which he just tensed.
I moved through the crowd trying to get their drinks at the bar and avoided looking towards Kelly. Around the bar, the room extended another few meters and turned around a corner to a long corridor, where there were three signs, a men’s, women’s and disabled toilet. The main bar area was out of view, but the corridor was right in front of the exit for behind the bar, where the waitress was constantly coming in and out with pitchers and food from the kitchen.
I went straight into the women’s where there was a closed cubicle, and the rest was open space with a wash sink. I raked my hair back, fuck, Kelly, what were you doing here? I tried to think of the first thing I would say to her. So many things I wanted off my chest. So many things I wanted to do to her. I wanted to spank her ass raw for taking off from the house in the first place, then leaving the cave two minutes too early. I wanted to soothe her for all the pain I felt from her and the torture scene under the ground. Most of all I wanted to save her from whatever she was in now, where she wasn’t even free to talk and show her real emotions.
The door burst opened, and Kelly rushed in like she was being chased. She quickly turned back to the door and whispered something against the door handle. My mouth opened to ask what was going on, but the girl turned just as fast and leaped onto my chest. My open mouth was suddenly filled with her ravenous tongue and my arms wrapped around to hug her close. Her momentum pushed us up against the wall and she continued to kiss me as if she was making up for two months worth of craving and desire.
It wasn’t enough, I needed closer and my hands slid between us to unzip her sweatshirt and I rolled it off her shoulders. The white tank top underneath was slightly damp and I ran my hand over her chest, her nipples peaking. She broke our kiss to smile and give a laugh of relief against my lips where I did the same. Fuck she felt good. She felt like mine.
Her soft hands tugged at my belt buckle and I heard my zipper pull down and gasped at her cold hand on my warm erection. I leaned my head back on the bathroom wall and breathed hard, focusing on not to come in her hand. She took me out from my jeans and grabbed my chin to pull it down to kiss. Her smell was different, something floral, and mixed with ocean salt and sun. But she was still mine through all that.
And she wanted me. Here.
I was not going to argue.
I leaned down and wrapped my hands under her thighs, turning our bodies so her back was against the wall.
Lifting her leg to my waist and fingering her panties aside, I slid into her like no time had passed between us and her moan was better than any memory I had. Slick heat paired with her gasping breath overwhelmed my senses for a moment and we paused together. Remembering what the other felt like, remembering what we were. Kelly wrapped the leg around my waist and tilted her hips to indicate I should lift the other leg and control her completely. Happily.
Rapid breath beside my ear pulsed in and out and I began to thrust with her rhythm. I crushed my body to hers until there was no place on her that I wasn’t touching in some way. I needed to feel her everywhere and she needed to remember me everywhere. She had pulled some shit back in Washington with that bird in flight stunt, and I should have been pissed, but all I wanted right now was her all over.
I pressed our lips together hard enough to bruise them, to make it clear we were fucking now, but she was in trouble later.
Kelly took it as passion and returned it with equal intensity, making my wolf inside nearly crazed with primal needs, a mix of lust and rage. I rapidly drove into her, making sure to rock my hips forward and brush her clit in the way that always made her come.
As if she had been waiting for just that touch, her inside squeezed around me and her mouth screamed without any sound against mine. Heat flowed around my cock and knowing I had made her orgasm brought my own. My tongue stroked hers as we came together.
Tensing from the pleasure after being alone without her for so long, she held me as I finished inside her, gently kissing my lips.
Finally, I broke us apart, feeling like it was time to talk,
“I got your post it.”
She smiled brightly and almost laughed.
I studied her smiling face. Up close, she had gained a few sun freckles across the bridge of her nose. They matched her shoulder blade length hair now, and I threaded my hands through it. Running, my hand down her shoulder, where my mark used to be, the skin was now clean and unblemished. It was totally gone.
My face turned somber at the memory.
“Are you still mine?” I asked her, my voice cloying in anticipation of her answer.
She looked at me in wonder, but then what was almost chastising.
I nodded, grateful, and leaned our foreheads together. I was still inside her, and as long as I was, she wasn’t going anywhere without me. But still,
“Kelly, what’s going on? Where’s your mom and the baby?”
Kelly, with her legs still wrapped around me and arms resting on my shoulders leaned her head on the wall.
“I don’t even know where to start, Will.”
“Okay, start with this. Are you in danger?”
She pursed her lips before answering “No.”
I grimaced, “Are you lying?”
Her lips twitched, “No.”
I dug my fingers into her thighs,
“How hard is it going to be for us to get you out of here?”
She sighed and gave a long exhale, thinking over the answer.
“Will. I can’t leave just yet. I’m here to do something. Something important...to me. I can’t really explain it.”
I now clawed my fingers into her skin,
“Kelly, have you lost the fucking plot? Are you being held here or not?”
“And you want to stay here instead of coming home with me?”
Her eyebrows furrowed,
“It’s not like that.”
I flexed my hips up, to remind her I was still inside her, still holding a semi, and her eyes squeezed close.
“Tell me what it’s like then?”
From behind us, a faint sound came through and I tilted my head back towards the door,
“Red?” It was the man she came with, calling out down the hallway. I looked back to Kelly, whose eyes were now twitching around the room and back to the door. She looked down to the hoodie on the ground that I was stepping on then whispered to me, “Don’t move a muscle,”
I nodded and steeled my muscles in place to hold her weight, my head aimed to the side so I could see the doorway in my peripheral.
Kelly rose her fingers to her throat and kept them there, whispering something on her exhale I could barely make out. The bathroom door suddenly clicked and was forced open, like it had stuck for a moment. The tall man with dark brown hair and full beard came through with a puzzled look on his face, looking to the stall, “Red? You okay?” He strode forward to the stall door, only a few feet from our entwined bodies up against the wall, and pushed it open.
Not finding anyone inside, he frowned again, then raised his nose slightly, taking a big exhale.
He couldn’t see us, but he could smell her, smell me. Hell, he could also probably smell the sex we just had. Sure enough, an ugly expression I likened to murderous rage took over his features. I was secure enough that I could call this guy good looking, but when that expression came over his face, it was enough to send a shiver down my spine. From my other eye, Kelly pressed the finger at her throat down slightly, and from the open doorway, down the corridor into the main pub, her voice sounded distant.
“Rhys? Where are you?”
The murderous expression immediately left his face and he quickly left the bathroom to follow her voice. Holy shit, Kelly had leveled up her magic since she left home.
Once he left and the door closed, I turned my head back to her,
“Who is he?”
She let out an exhale and pushed me back forcing me to slide out of her. She rearranged her clothes while I pushed myself back into my jeans.
“He’s the reason my dad was forced to leave his home, he is about to take over the drug running business that they built on the Jones’ legacy.”
I rubbed my hands over my face. This didn’t make any sense, Kelly didn’t have any connection to these people or place,
“Okay..so what? What does he have to do anything now?”
Her face turned to stone, as if I had questioned her whole existence.
“I’m going to kill them.”
My first instinct was to laugh in her face at the idea. That my Kelly, when she first killed a man in self-defense and cried over it for the next two days, could callously talk about killing men. But then the stone look on her face continued, and then so did mine.
“Kelly, fuck these guys. Fuck the Jones’ legacy, you never cared about it before! Baby, that Alpha looks fucking crazy, you can’t be serious to stay here?”
She shook her head down at the floor, like I wasn’t listening to her when in fact it seemed she wasn’t even trying to listen to me. Instead, she suddenly examined her hands, looking like she was searching for something. What the fuck was going on?
I started to pace the small bathroom, trying to think this through. Kelly didn’t want to leave, so Jess and I were going to either figure out how to convince her or help her. Another to and fro, and Kelly grabbed me by the shoulders and dragged me back to kiss her. It wasn’t the sex crazed kiss of people fucking in a pub bathroom, it was the kind of kiss we gave each other when there was time. Time and patience.
She suddenly straightened up, some tears formed in the corners of her eyes and I held her face to brush them away.
“Kelly, we will figure this out, but please, let me help.” Her own hand came to mirror mine, and her pinkie finger came to my lips.
“Open your mouth.”
I looked at her confused, a grim line settling in my mouth.
Reluctantly, I did as she asked and she placed her bleeding finger in my mouth. Another tear fell onto her cheek.
Staring into those big blue doe eyes, I unconsciously started to suck her finger, never breaking the lock of our eyes as more tears began to fall onto her cheek. My fingers curled tighter around her waist and I pulled our bodies closer as I tasted her tangy metallic blood in my mouth. My brain flashed back to our first date by the fire where I brought my own fingers to my mouth and tasted her other flavor.
After a moment, she pulled her finger free and placed both hands on my shoulders. Her smell was different but the feel of her body would never change. I leaned into her again and bought our lips together, remembering the depths of her mouth as our tongues entwined. Whatever her scent I could still faintly taste my own Vanilla. She broke our lips apart and whispered into my ear.
“Will, you’re going to leave Fishguard tonight.”
I stiffened at her suggestion. Was she saying we were leaving together? The resolve and hurt in her eyes made it clear, no. She meant only I was leaving. She felt me stiffen and pushed me away enough away to look me in the eye.
“You’re going to leave and take Jess with you. You’re going to get on the next flight to Seattle and head back to the reservation.”
Somehow, that idea made sense. We already had our flights out from Dublin. We were all set to leave. The wolf inside me however growled against my acceptance and I realized what I had just acquiesced.
I wanted to retort but I couldn’t form the words. I couldn’t dispute her. I felt a block and I pushed against it. All that came out was a growl aimed at her and I realized what she was doing. She was manipulating me somehow and I slowly started to feel my brain succumbing to her words.
“Will, you’re going to do this for me,” she cupped my face and leaned our foreheads together, pleading. “Please, please do this. I’ll be home soon. I promise.”
The fight in me was ebbing in me, but what she was asking was making too much sense. Jess and I were fish out of water here, we didn’t know the Weres, or this private war Kelly had started. She was different, more determined, stronger willed. When I met her, she was trying to be ‘hard’, but now it seemed it wasn’t just an act.
“Baby…” I growled out one last time and she begged in return.
“Will, please. I love you. Please do this. I can’t let you be here.”
I closed my eyes at her words.
“Say it again,” I commanded. Her eyes were confused for a moment until she caught my meaning, then pressed her lips against the corner of mine.
“I love you….I’ll be home to you soon.”
She kissed me again and I nodded, reluctantly and compelled to agree. The wolf inside was furious against the man and the complacency. What the fuck was happening, was Kelly seriously benching me out of the game? Forcing me to leave so she can be with this other Alpha?
I had never once felt inferior to another man, but this tall Alpha was giving me second thoughts with Kelly choosing to stay with him for whatever obscure murderous reason than come home to me.
She leaned in again and kissed me harder, with fervor and love and it eased a few of those fears but not enough to satiate. It was a kiss goodbye. I felt it everywhere.
“Stay in here for another ten minutes, then leave on the 4 pm ferry.” I nodded again, defeated. I had once used my Alpha tone on Kelly to command her for her own safety. It seemed that she now had similar power over me, and I felt a strange mix of fury at my mate, pride that she apparently didn’t need help, and sadness at the thought.
Another final kiss from her full lips and she left the bathroom without meeting my eyes, and I was shell shocked at what just happened. Kelly actually left me again for an enemy.