The Warriors Of River Falls (Book 2)

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Choices

I didn’t know what to think after Shawn dropped me off. I didn’t know if we were back to normal, or if he would still be distant with me. I didn’t want him to be, but there was also a part of me that knew it was for the best. Space was what I needed for my mind to become clear of him; but seeing my him again today, only confirmed my worst fears.

I had fallen for him; I had fallen for a damned werewolf.

It went against everything I wanted. The idea of a werewolf and I being like that, together, the idea repulsed me. However, I didn’t see Shawn as a werewolf. I just saw him as Shawn; but he was a werewolf. A full, living, breathing, shapeshifting, four legs, fluffy tail, snout and sharp teeth werewolf. I was torn, I wanted to spend as much time with him as I could, but also as little time with him as I could.

I did feel better though now that I had some more explanations for how I felt when we were first rescued. The reasons behind how I could miss my captor, how I could miss the monster that put scars on my body. The way Shawn explained it, explained that it was my soul that was mourning his soul, not my body missing his body. I felt better knowing Clayton was dead, that he would never come for me again. Although the rogue issue was still an issue, it wasn’t mine to deal with. If I stayed as far away from the werewolves as I could, there would be no reason for the rogues to come near me.

My biggest issue was removing all thoughts of that gorgeous man from my mind.

However, I had a plan, and it was a crazy plan. I knew it was a crazy plan. It actually went against my ethics, but in the purpose of self-preservation I knew it was something I needed to do. I also have a crazy thought that Shawn already knows it and that’s why we went to the coffee shop we did.

Ryan… Ryan is my plan. I hate the idea of using someone, it’s not something I would usually do, or advise someone to do. However, he is a nice guy, he’s cute, holding down a job and is obviously still interested in me judging by the looks he was giving myself and Shawn yesterday. And I could genuinely feel myself being attracted to him, when we had talked before Shawn had come back to town, he intrigued me, excited me. I wanted him to ask me out on a date. So, I’m going to work on that, get back to that feeling. Just replace one cute guy with another. That sounds horrible I know it does, but I have to just hope that in the end it will work out.

I did say it was a crazy plan. But I need to do something first. I need a clean break from Shawn, I don’t think I will be able to fully remove him from my thoughts if we are constantly in touch with each other. I also feel though that I need to explain to him my reasonings. I know he will get it. I have guessed that he knows I have some sort of feelings for him, but he

has also made it abundantly clear that it wouldn’t work with us as he can’t have another mate.

No one would ever be able to replace Vicky. So I just need to move on and keep going.

So, I now find myself on my school grounds, waiting for him to show up. I know when he is getting closer. Not by any sixth sense or anything like that, but the girls around the grounds, they all stop what they are doing and just stare. Full on open mouths, drooling. Not that I blame them. He sits on the bench next to me and waits for me to say hi first. It takes longer than I thought it would. I’m not actually looking forward to this conversation.

“How was class?” He asks casually.

“The usual, you know.” He does know, he knows most things about me, he’s probably the closest friend I have right now, even closer than Alex or Chris. I haven’t heard much from Chris in ages. I know he checks in with Logan and his dad, Shawn tells me, so at least I know he is still alive.

“So I’ve been thinking…” He starts off, I laugh out of habit.

“Ohhh, tough man has been thinking. I wasn’t sure there any brains left in there.” He elbows me gently and smiles along with me.

“Shut up, this is serious.” I turn to face him, lifting my legs and crossing them in front of me, leaning forward, to show he has my attention. A goofy smile on my face. I will miss the times like this. When we are just natural with each other, silly and easy.

“I’ve said it before but its time I said it again, you need to train with us. At the house.” I wasn’t expecting that, and I huff like a toddler, drop my legs and face forward again. My smile firmly gone.

“No, Shawn I don’t need to, and I don’t want to.” He leans forward, clasping his hands together.

“I know you don’t want to Amber, I think you need to.” He turns his head to look at me.

“Why? You said it yourself, Claytons gone. He won’t come for me, so why do I need to?” His eyes go wide like he can’t believe what I’ve just said.

“What do you mean why? Uh, I don’t know, like maybe to be able to stop yourself getting kidnapped a second time.” I don’t like his sarcastic tone and it riles me.

“The only reason I was kidnapped the first time was because I was with Alex, and that was because she was an Alphas mate. Well guess what, I’m not anyone’s mate, so they have no reason to come for me.” I whisper shout aware of the attention him alone brings, even without our raised voices.

“Amber, rogues will use any weakness they can, now they are back in River Falls, we don’t know why, but you aren’t the only one to have picked up their scent. You’re associated with the pack and human. They will see that as a weak link in the chain. You need to train just in case.” He picks up on my hushed whisper and does the same.

“And what if I’m not associated with the pack?” I ask him without looking at him, but I can feel his glare on me.

“What’s that supposed to mean? You are already associated with the pack. Look, just come to training tonight with Alex and Jasmine, or I’ll train you myself, just the two of us.” He genuinely sounds confused, but quickly brushes it off.

“Shawn, I don’t want to train. You’re not the only one that’s been thinking and the reason I asked you to meet me today was because I needed to tell you something.” I sigh and run my fingers through my hair, trying to calm my nerves. He just raises an eyebrow, signalling me to continue.

“I need, we need… I don’t want to be part of the pack. I’m not a wolf, I’m human and I don’t want any involvement in pack life. I hate going to the pack house, it just reminds me… being surrounded by all those wolves. But you… Shawn… you… I don’t know how, and I know it’s not possible so, I need to not see you, I…” He takes my hands in his much larger ones.

“Amber… I’m sorry…” I can see hurt in his eyes, which confuses me slightly, but I know I’m doing the right thing. His apology confirms that he knows of my feelings for him and also confirms that the feelings are not reciprocated.

“I just need to move on with my life Shawn. And you have been so good to me, and please know that you have helped me so much. But now... this… it’s not real, and it can’t go anywhere. That’s not fair to me, I deserve to have someone feel the same. You have your life and your choices, and I have mine. So, I have decided to just step away from all things pack related, werewolf related. If I’m away from the wolves, I’m away from the rogues, away from the danger. I can just live my life like a normal human being, who is blissfully unaware of all the horrors that surround them and…”

“You think I’m a horror?” He quickly jumps in, shock filling his face. I almost laugh.

“I think you know that’s not the case Shawn. It’s the opposite, you… you were never a horror; you were my saviour. I know that most, if not all of the pack are nothing like those rogues, but… I just can’t do it Shawn. This is for the best. To try and be oblivious to all of it.”

“Have you told Alex any of this? Do you think she will let you just walk away from her, from your friendship? And Jasmine?” I smile and squeeze his hand, bringing myself closer to him.

“They will have to; this is my choice. If what happened taught me anything, it taught me to make my own decisions, and not back down. It was easier there at the compound, to just back down, not fight, it would result in less pain, but I’m done with backing down and doing things that I don’t want to do. This is my life and I want to live it. Clayton's gone; I don’t need to be scared anymore. You have saved me so much more than just that night Shawn, and I’ll never be able to thank you enough, or replace what you lost through saving me.”

“Amber, you don’t need to do this…” I stand up and place myself in front of him, my hands on his strong shoulders.

“I do Shawn. You know I do… I’m never going to be able to move on with my life, with you by my side. We want different things, you’ve already told me that and if I’m to have any chance of living my life and finding a future with someone, I need to not be stood by with the person I’ve already fallen for. My heart just isn’t that strong. So, I’m not backing down, I’m standing up; for me. I’m doing what’s best for me and protecting myself from further heartache.” I didn’t realise I was crying, so I do my best to put on smile and gently wipe my face. He won’t look at me, he hasn’t said anything or even moved a muscle, but I can feel how tense he is underneath my fingertips.

I give him a few minutes to say something, but he stays silent. I bend down and place a kiss on his cheek, placing my mouth by his ear to whisper my last sentence for him to hear before choosing to walk away.

“Thank you, Shawn. For saving me and giving me life, and for showing me how to live again. I'll miss you.”

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