Jax comes strolling back in looking drool-worthy. He has changed into a pair of straight-leg trousers, and a white button-up shirt, slightly revealing his tanned chest. He seems more agitated than when he left, but that quickly fades when his eyes set on me.
"You ready to go, honey?" he asks.
"Almost," I reply before I stand and walk over to where Jax is standing. I lean up and place a kiss on his lips, savoring the moment. When I pull away Jax has a grin from ear to ear and I say, "Now I'm ready."
Jax leads me down to the front of the packhouse where a Jeep is waiting for us. If we're traveling somewhere far, I obviously cannot shift, so the next best thing is a car.
Jax opens the passenger door for me. "After you." With a peck and a thank you, I climb into the Jeep. Jax leans over me and secures the seatbelt for me. After closing my door, Jax jogs around the car to get into the driver's seat.
As Jax drives us to the secret location I think about how my life has changed for the better. I have gone from never talking and having no one to now having a mate with who I can have full-length conversations.
Since I told Jax my past, we decided it would be best if I stoped having my counseling sessions as I wasn't talking in them, because I didn't feel comfortable with other people knowing just yet. But I promised Jax that I would start them up when I feel ready to face my nightmares.
Jax reaches over and interlaces our hands together, resting them on my lap. This is what I have always wanted. Someone to love me, and I finally found someone who does.
After half an hour of driving, we pull up to a diner called 'Whimpy'.
"I thought that we could get some lunch before we do the second part of our date. I know it's simple and nothing special..." I stop what Jax is rambling about and place my lips on his to silence his negative thoughts.
"It's perfect." When Jax sees I am telling him the truth, he gives a smile and visibly relaxes. He climbs out of the Jeep, comes over to my side and opens my door. He leads me into the restaurant and we are shown to a booth on the left side of the diner.
Jax sits down facing where the door is. I start to move to go sit on the opposite side of Jax so we are facing each other, but Jax gently grabs me by my waist and guides me to sit next to him instead. The waiter who has platinum blonde hair and green eyes hands us our menus and tells us to let him know when we are ready to order, and he will come back over. The waiter's eyes linger a tad bit longer on me, causing Jax to lowly growl. Is the waiter trying to flirt with me? We must be in human territory because there is no way a male would flirt with me unless they were human and didn't know Jax was an Alpha who would destroy them. When I lean into Jax, getting the point across that I'm taken, he walks away.
"Twat," Jax mutters. I chuckle at his jealousy. I don't mind his possession, it makes me feel safe and somewhat wanted.
After a couple of minutes, Jax calls a different waiter to take our order, an older gentleman this time. Jax orders a burger with fries with a vanilla milkshake and then says my order, which is the same as Jax's but with a strawberry milkshake instead. Jax knows that I'm still a bit nervous to speak to strangers, so like the understanding mate that he is, orders for me.
When we’re alone, Jax says, "I used to come here with my Dad when I was younger. He used to tell me that when I grew up and had a mate of my own, that we could double date with him and my Mum. Sadly though, that can’t happen. My Dad would have loved you, not as much of me of course,” he sadly jokes. I place my hand on Jax's knee to show that I understand what it feels like to not have a parent. I hope he can feel my sympathy through the mate bond.
Our order arrives rather quickly, and we both dig in. "Mum told me that she was envious of how youthful you are. If I remember correctly, she said, 'That sweetheart of yours is so beautiful and radiant, she is like a little ball of Sunshine', which means your new pet name, my adorable mate, is now gonna be Sunshine." I and Jax both laugh at the pet name, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Jax likes it more than he shows and will keep using it on me. "I know that my Mum gets very lonely and I hope she finds her second chance mate, she deserves happiness."
"She does. She is such a sweet lady," I reply.
Jax slurps on his milkshake, then turns to me with a serious look in his eyes. I push my leftover burger to the side as I'm starting to get full and munch on some fries instead.
"I was trying to figure when was the best time to tell you this, but when the whole situation with Samantha happened, I noticed for a brief second that your eyes flickered and your wolf started showing through. I think it happened because your wolf felt threatened that her mate was being hit on and wanted to claim a territory. Maybe this means that strong emotions might trigger your wolf into coming back out."
I sit and think about what I’ve just been told. It has been so long since I've heard from my wolf, I'm used to the silence, but I would definitely prefer if she returned and yapped my ear off. "Do you think she will come back soon?" I ask.
"I hope for your sake that she does, Sunshine." I laugh at the fact Jax actually has stuck to using the pet name Sunshine. "However, even if she doesn't, I want you to know that I will love you no matter what. Wolf or human. And to prove that I want to give you my family's mate ring." Jax pulls out of his trouser pocket a small black box, that when he opens, contains a gorgeous gold ring, with a sapphire jewel glistening brightly.
"Jax, it's beautiful! Thank you so much," I say with tears already forming.
"My Mum kept it on since my Dad's passing, but when she found out that I had found my mate, she said that it was time that it belonged to the new female of the family, you." By now I have ugly tears rolling down my cheeks, pooling under my chin. I stare at the ring and am filled with amazement. I've never been gifted something like this before, so yet again, my mate is my first.
"I also have the mate ring for the male, I've had mine since I officially became the Alpha of Midnight Rose Pack.” Jax holds up a plain gold ring sitting around his left ring finger. I wrap my fingers around his and stare at our interlocked hands. I wouldn't have it any other way. I glance up at Jax and begin to lean in. Our lips mold like they were made for each other. I don’t ever want to pull away. After a few heated seconds, I pull away before anything else happens and so I can catch my breath. I stare into the bottom of my glass, trying to make the blush that has coated my face disappear.
After our waste is taken away, and Jax pays for the bill, which I of course thank him for, Jax tells me, "For the second part of our date, we are going to go shopping, and you can get anything you want. Absolutely anything." I squeal in delight and jump into Jax's arms, giving him a sweet kiss on the neck. The way he says ours, it sounds so perfect.
When we arrive at the shopping center, we go into multiple stores, mostly just browsing, but we did pick up a few items here and there. We grab a couple of clothes for the pair of us, and Jax insisted on matching pajamas. I choose a couple of children's fiction books to keep me busy while Jax works.
I keep glancing at the ring that Jax gave me. I can't believe he actually does want me and sees me as his family. Jax truly does love me... and I think I love him too. Today was everything that I ever wanted.
I glance at my watch which reads 7:37 and decides it’s best to head back. Not only is Hayley looking tired, but I and Dimitri need to discuss what he has found regarding any links to the rouges that attacked us a few days ago. That's what I and him were talking about in my office; he had informed me that we had a lead, but I decided it would be best to talk about this new information after mine and Hayley's date, so I could be fully present with Hayley and not have my mind distracted.
As we pull up to the packhouse, I mindlink Dimitri to meet me at the front of the packhouse in five minutes. I also mindlink Axton to come and watch Hayley for a few hours whilst I’m gone. I climb out of the Jeep, and speed jog to the other side to open up Hayley’s door. I like taking care of her. The huge smile on Hayley's face throughout the entire date is something I want to continue to see on her, so I will have to take her out more often. She deserves it.
I notice how she keeps looking down at her mate's ring. Knowing she accepted the ring, must mean we are heading in the right direction. I must be doing something right for Hayley to still want to be with me. I hope she will stay with me forever, she is the love of my life and I am not going to lose her. I would move heaven and earth for Hayley.
I grab all the bags, and I take them up to our bedroom, with Hayley close on my tail. When we enter the bedroom, I notice the faint scent of Samantha from being in here earlier. She will not come between my and my mate. I will punish her if she ever tries again.
I place the bags on the floor, at the foot of the bed, and turn to face Hayley. I snake my hands around her waist and draw her close. I breathe in deeply to inhale Hayley’s scent. The scent that I love.
I cup her cheek with my hand and bend down slightly, so I am looking down at Hayley. My hand glides down to her neck where it rests before I dip my head lower to brush my lips against hers. Her tiny hands latch onto my shirt, holding me in place. I place a gentle kiss before pulling away. “Thank you for the date, Hayley. It was truly one of the best days of my existence.” I say. As I stare into Hayley’s glistening eyes, there is zero doubt in my mind that I completely love this female in front of me. Every part of her.
“I and Dimitri have to go take care of some business, but I will be back before you go to sleep. Axton is on his way to stay with you until I return.”
“Everything okay?” she asks, with worry in her eyes.
“Everythings fine baby, just usual pack stuff. Nothing to worry about, it’s all under control.”
With a nod from Hayley, I give her another kiss, but this time a little bit longer than planned. What can I say? She is my weakness.
I pull away when a loud knock comes from the door, quickly followed by, “Hayley! Open up, I know you’re in there!” Of course, Axton is here to ruin our moment.
“Go downstairs Axton, we will be down shortly.” I reply.
“Fine, but make sure to put some clothes on before you do, I don’t need to catch an eyeful,” he jokes. If he wasn’t such good friends with Hayley, I would have ripped him a new arsehole for his remarks about his Luna, even if it was just a joke.
As I hear his footsteps grow quieter, I bend down once more to peck Hayley before saying, “I won’t be gone long, and if you need me at all, just tell Axton and he will tell me okay?”
“I’ll be fine,” she says as she snuggles into my chest.
We stay like this for a few passing moments, before Dimitri mindlinks me, informing me that he is here. After a few more seconds of bliss, I pull away and whisper, “Let’s head downstairs, Sunshine.”
I lead her downstairs into the kitchen, where Axton is helping himself to some cheese sandwiches. When Axton spots us, he waves at Hayley, and bows his head at me, as he knows Hayley doesn’t like the formalities, but as I’m the Alpha I need the formalities to be reassured of loyalty. I notice what looks like a bruise plastered on the side of Axton’s neck, but with further inspection, I realize it is a hickey. So Axton found his mate or he had a hook-up. At least I know now for certain he won’t try anything with Hayley.
“Take good care of her, I won’t be long as I think there is someone you need to get back to,” I joke, hinting at his newfound bruise in his neck. Axton blushes a deep red, before looking everywhere but my eyes. I turn to Hayley, to spare Axton any further embarrassment.
“I’ll see you soon baby. Be good,” I say with a soft kiss and a cheeky wink. I then head off to see what leads we have on the arseholes that attacked mine and Hayley’s pack...