The After Effects

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Managing my best-insulted look, I widened my eyes and let my jaw drop.

“How dare you accuse me of such things,” my voice wavered as I propped my hand on my hip, attempting to appear braver than I felt.

The massive male leaned down, his face inches from mine. His minty breath tickled my face as he spoke, “I’d be careful if I were you, a male-only has so much self-control.”

I felt a shiver roll up and down my spine at his words.

Attempting to gather myself, I took a deep breath. “Last I checked, this is my place.” I pushed as much sass into my voice as possible.

The male chuckled at my reply, his huge frame towering over me. His eyes looked me up and down again before he spoke. “You sure are something else, Little Bird.”

Taking that as a compliment, I grabbed the door and motioned for him to leave. “I need to get ready for bed,” I said.

The infuriating male made no motion to leave, instead, he gestured for me to go on with my routine.

I rolled my eyes at the Alpha male, but didn’t feel like fighting him. Instead, I turned to the sink and got my bathroom supplies out.

“Busy day?” The male asked as I sorted through my supplies.

With a shrug, I answered, “I spent most of it with my other male.” I watched as Rorek rolled his eyes at our inside joke through the mirror.

A month ago, when I was leaving the training center and decided to torture him, I mentioned that there was another male he would have to compete with for my hand. The next day, after dropping off Harper, Rorek demanded I take him to meet this male. The look of shock, amazement, relief, and slight disappointment as Rorek realized he couldn’t compete with Ragnar, made my entire week.

Rorek scoffed. “And how is the beast?” He asked.

“As usual he hates you and loves me so I’d say good,” I told Rorek as we made eye contact through the mirror. The male chuckled, the melodic sound making me smile.

Starting with brushing my teeth, I grabbed my toothbrush and whatever herbal mix the castle offered. Rorek stood in the doorway and watched as I brushed my teeth, something about that oddly hot. Every now and then I would lean over into the sink so I could spit and Rorek would offer an appreciative growl every time as my nightgown rose with the action.

After brushing my teeth, I washed my face with some concoction of facial soap. Then, like usual, I pulled my hair over my shoulder and started to unbraid it.

I was surprised when an animalistic growl came from the man standing in the doorway behind me. My eyes flicked to his in the mirror as he pushed off from the doorway and stalked to me. His massive body stopped behind me and he gently moved my hair so it rested on my back.

I was even more surprised when his huge paws for hands gently grabbed my braid and his fingers started unraveling my hair. Each movement was benign and tender, my heart softened at the action.

Once my braid was undone, he reached his hand around me and turned it palm up, waiting for something. Oh the brush, I realized and grabbed it, and placed it in his giant palm. His mammoth fingers closed around the handle of my hairbrush, making it seem tiny.

He ran the brush through my hair, softly tugging the knots apart until my hair was knot-free and my stomach was doing flips.

“I love your red hair.” His deep voice rumbled as he set the brush down and started diving my hair into three strands. My heart cracked as I realized he was going to braid my hair.

Any response dried up in my throat as Rorek began the hypnotizing action of braiding my hair. The tug of his fingers in my hair made my stomach flip even faster. I felt a sort of heat start low in my stomach as the male paid close attention to what his fingers were doing.

I watched his face in the mirror as the heat started growing more and more. Suddenly, his amethyst eyes snapped to my emerald green eyes in the mirror. A dark grin playing at his lips as if he knew where my thoughts had drifted. The tugs grew more insistent and he watched me the whole time.

My body, acting without my permission, suddenly scooted back. My backside brushing against his front in a taunting manner.

His amethyst eyes grew dark as he thrust his hips forward, pinning me between him and the counter.

“You’re playing a dangerous game, Little Bird.” His voice warned me as he went back to braiding my hair.

What is happening to me? I mentally scolded myself, attempting to get my behavior under control.

Rorek reached around me, waiting for me to hand him a leather tie. Once I gave it to him, he tied the braid and lifted it high before letting it fall. The thump of my braid hitting my back the only sound in the bathroom.

“Thank you,” I told the male, who finally moved his hips, releasing me.

His answering smirk was his response as his purple eyes watched me in the mirror.

“Are you two done yet?” Locke’s voice hollered from the living room, pulling me from unclean imagination that was running rampant.

“I’m afraid so,” Rorek answered my brother. I watched his purple eyes in the mirror and nearly gasped as I saw the purple flicker. A black color swirled briefly in his iris’s before the usual color returned.

I was confused by the random change in his eyes though I thought back to Soren’s eyes. They had changed from their usual icy blue to a dark navy blue when he shifted. Could that mean something? I questioned briefly.

With no further words, Rorek’s warm presence behind me left. Leaving me feeling almost empty as I put my bathroom supplies away and turned the bathroom light off.

Soren, Locke, and Rorek were back at playing a card game. Soren nodded a goodnight before he went back to studying his cards.

As I passed Locke he mumbled, “fricking weirdo.” Which earned him a slap on the back of the head.

I got to my doorway and turned around, before I could tell everyone goodnight, a huge body stood in front of me.

Amethyst eyes stared down at me, and before I could process anything, he leaned down and crushed his lips to mine.

Surprise rippled through me before I collected myself and wrapped my arms around his neck. Warms hands gripped my hips as Rorek’s lips danced with mine, he led the whole time with his dominating kiss.

Before much else could happen, Rorek pulled his lips away and he mumbled against my neck, “Goodnight Little Bird.” His chest rumbled against mine before he pulled away, the loss of contact and warmth leaving me reeling.

Still stunned, I watched as Rorek strolled back to the couch and grabbed up his cards. Once seated, he smirked back up to my shocked form.

Without saying anything else, I closed the door to my room and crawled into bed. My head spinning and heart beating rapidly, I finally realized what just happened. Rorek kissed me.

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