Coming of Age
Warmth hummed through my body as I looked up at Cage, my mouth hanging open slightly at the sight of him. As angry as I had been at Paeris before, I no longer could focus on anything other than my childhood friend right before my eyes. I knew eventually I would see him again, but I figured it wouldn't be until after the Hunt and he was officially mated to my sister. Paeris faded into in the background of my mind as he let me slip away into Cage's arms.
"Cage, what are you doing here?"
"What are you doing here? You could be in big trouble if anyone catches you at a party like this." He chastised softly, pulling me completely away from Paeris who was visibly fuming. I could tell by how tense his shoulders were that he was not happy I had averted my attention away from him so quickly.
Let him think on it. I thought to myself, pulling Cage closer to me.
"I was invited." I offered, running my hands greedily over his chest. My brain was hazy and my stomach was flipping in a new way. "You never used to invite me to these things."
Cage frowned, pulling my hands away from his chest and placing them on his upper arms instead. Even though he pulled my waist a little closer so we could dance and talk, I could tell he was being very careful with his movements. I should have felt wrong, dancing like this with him - he was practically married, after all - but if Paeris thought we were an abomination together, maybe this is where I belonged. No one whispered when Cage and I were together. No one even gave us a second look.
"You shouldn't be here. It's not safe. And you're not this person." Cage said in my ear so I could hear over the pumping music. I leaned in closer to him as if I was having trouble hearing and continued to grind my hips against him.
I no longer had control over the way my body was moving and grinding against him, my skin hot and my hair stuck to my neck. I felt like I had been drugged, but clear all at once.
A loud and frustrated growl ripped through Cage's lips as he pulled me closer, all reservations leaving his body as our bodies connected. Something felt right dancing with Cage, our bodies grinding together to a new rhythm, our skin rippling and tingling every time we touched. My skin burned now, almost too hot to stand.
I wanted him. I wanted him in a way I had never wanted him before. An almost primal feeling absorbed me as I pulled him closer by the back of his neck, our lips hovering too close together. I could almost taste him on my tongue and the room faded away around us. No one existed in that moment.
I felt the muscles in my stomach tighten, adrenaline pumping through my body and my heart thundering in my ears. I stared into those beautiful eyes, searching them for the man I had left at the Enclave, only to see someone new looking back at me. My wolf practically howled with excitement. Shaking my head as the haze cleared slightly. This was wrong.
I pushed Cage away and turned on my heel before he could stop me, pushing him away and running away as fast as I could force my legs to move. I was running away from the burning in my stomach of need and the blood pounding in my ears. My elbows pushed and my body shoved past the thick groups of dancing bodies and into the chilled night air.
I sucked in a gulp of this glorious air, feeling as if I hadn't breathed anything so fresh in my life. As if I had been suffocating in that building and I hadn't even known it.
As disgusted as I felt with myself, I still wanted him to touch me. To feel his hands on my body and his tongue in my mouth. I wanted to throw up at the way I had basically mounted him on the dance floor, not caring if Paeris saw, though I had no idea where he had gone. My heart hurt at the thought of him seeing me so drawn sexually to my ex-mate.
I ran until I couldn't run anymore, until my stomach unclenched and my breathing became ragged from exhaustion versus arousal. Never once in my entire life of being near Cage, even while naked, had I ached for him the way I had just then. Just being in his general proximity made me mad for him. I heard a howl in the distance that I knew all too well, devastating and beautiful all at once, knowing that Cage was calling for me. Calling for his Mate. My skin quivered as my animalistic side came alive for the hundredth time that night.
With every day that my twenty-second birthday loomed closer, my wolf would fight for him. My father had told me it would be this way, that we may have been friends, but that eventually things would change. I thought when Allie had appeared and became his 'true Mate' this wouldn't happen to me.
My hands covered my face, smearing my makeup as tears soaked my face. I was crying with anger and injustice of it all. My heart felt like it had shattered, pulling away from Cage the way I had, but the guilt in my stomach for acting the way we had when Paeris was at the same party, probably seeing the whole act...
It was then that I heard it. A soft giggle that sounded strangely familiar. Hushed throaty words that sounded all too similar to what Paeris sounded like the night of the introduction party. I hid quickly behind a bush, peeking through a group of branches to see him sitting on the ground, a skinny girl with almost silver hair positioned nearly on his lap. I strained my ears to hear, but I could only make out the tone of their voices. She leaned in and kissed him, causing my fingers to dig into the tree next to me, my nails extending in rage at the sight. At first, I thought it was Laurel, finally following through with her promise, that maybe Paeris had decided he was better off with his own kind. It wasn't until the girl tipped her head backward and let out an all too satisfied laugh that I knew who this mystery woman was: