Beauty in the Beast

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Chapter 23

This had to be every female’s fantasy but I was so unsure of myself. His hand reached down to mine and took the washcloth from me. I didn’t pay attention to where he put it because my gaze was locked on my Alpha. He stood to his feet in front of me only to dip down and pick me up, bridal-style. I wrapped my arms around his neck, his thick shoulder muscles pressed against my arms as he carried me through the bathroom into the bedroom. He set me down on the bed and brushed a strand of hair behind my ear.

“I’ll be right back.” He said before disappearing into the bathroom again. It only took about five minutes for him to reappear with gauze wrapped around his entire upper body. He stopped at his dresser and threw on a white t-shirt with a pair of black basketball shorts. He tossed his towel in a hamper by the door and went back to his dresser. He brought a t-shirt over to me and set it on the bed. He held his hand out to me and I took it, he slid me off the bed so I was standing in front of him. He slid his fingers under the straps of my dress and my breath caught. The mated wolves who left the ritual were in their own bedrooms like us, but they would be consummating their mating. Is that what Nick was expecting to do right now? Less than twelve hours ago I had no idea Nick had feelings for me, let alone was going to fight off two wolves for me, and now I was expected to have sex with him and start my new life as Luna. Nick’s hands pulled the straps of my dress down but my hands reached up and grabbed his, stopping him in his tracks.

“Nick—“ I sucked a breath I had been holding in. “I can’t—“ I wasn’t ready for this.

“I’m not asking you to.” Nick pulled his hands out from under mine and replaced them on top of mine, moving my hands to my sides. He went back to the straps of my dress and pulled them down until they wouldn’t go anymore. He guided my arms out of the straps, my breasts holding the dress in place. He stepped to the side and grabbed the t-shirt on the bed before placing it over my head and through my arms. The shirt fell well below my ass over my tiny frame. His hands slid up the shirt and gripped my sides. I bit my lip and closed my eyes, imagining those big hands on my bare skin. He tugged the dress down until it fell into a clump of fabric at my feet. My nose filled with the scent of lust as it seeped through my skin. Nick leaned his face into my neck, and I held my breath. “You can’t do this to me, Emma.” Nick whispered in my ear. I squealed as he suddenly picked me up and tossed me into the bed like I was nothing more than a throw pillow. Even wounded he had more power in a single hand than I’ve seen in any male. I leaned up on my elbows and stared at the man in front of me. Sure, he’s turned me on in the past, he’s a gorgeous specimen, why wouldn’t he turn me on? But this was different. This was what I was lacking in my time with Emmett. I wasn’t just turned on by the man in front of me, but also by the wolf. Nick crawled into the bed beside me and pulled the blankets over the both of us. He pulled me close to his body and I tucked my head into his chest. “Get some sleep, little wolf. It’s been a long day.” He brushed my hair softly, trying to ease any anxiety the day has brought.

I don’t know why I thought Nick wouldn’t be there when I woke, but he was. His chest was rising and falling with every breath of sleep. His huge arm was around my waist, holding me in place. He looked so peaceful, I wouldn’t dare wake him. Gently lifting his arm, I rolled my body out from under him and slid out of the bed. I went into the bathroom as quietly as I could. What time was it? Where was my phone? After I finished up in the bathroom, I had every intention of sneaking into the living room to grab my phone and reach out to Derek, but as my eyes fell to the gentle giant taking up the king sized bed in front of me, I couldn’t move. This was like a dream I never wanted to wake up from. My feet carried me back to the bed and I found my spot next to him. The movement must have woke him because he pulled me closer to him and pressed his lips against my forehead. My cheeks turned a bright pink and I shoved my face into his shirt to hide it.

“As much as I’d love to spend the day in bed with you, we have much to do today.”

“Do we?” I asked.

“We have to prepare you for the ceremony and introduce you to the pack.”

“Excuse me?” I sat up in the bed. “I just did a ceremony and I’ve known this pack since I was born.”

“The Luna Ceremony. We have to be introduced to the pack as a united pair.” This was too much at once. My head was clearing of the lust that filled the air every second I was in the room with him.

“Nick—“

“I’ll take you home so you can pick up some things. We’ll meet and do the ceremony and then come back here and get you settled in.”

“Settled in?”

“Yes, Emma.” I could hear the irritation in his voice.

“I’m not living here.” He sat straight up.

“Yes, you are.”

“Nick, I have a home of my own, I stayed the night like a good little wolf but this isn’t my home. I have a job and a life, I can’t just stop everything I’ve ever known and pick up a new life with you.”

“Clearly you need some time to think this over.” He got out of the bed, little spots of blood covered his white shirt. His wounds must have bled through his bandages overnight.

“Clearly.” I narrowed my eyes at him, he wasn’t going to make this easy on me.

“Let me get cleaned up and I’ll take you home.” He disappeared into his bathroom. We were in different chapters of a book I didn’t know I was in until last night. I was going to need more time than he was willing to give me and I sure as hell wasn't going to sit in a car with him and discuss the rules of our new relationship. I grabbed my dress and my shoes and went to the living room where I found my purse. I checked my phone and surprisingly I didn’t have a single message. I guess my family and friends wanted to leave me alone with my new mate. I had quite the walk home and I had too much to carry to morph into my wolf to run, so I needed to get moving before Nick noticed I was gone. We weren’t even mated for a full day and I was already a runaway bride.

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