Waking up in a new room was strange but over the past few days it had just become normal. Almost two weeks had passed, and I had settled into Shawn’s home easier than I had expected to. Trips to school had ran smoothly, Shawn had taken me to start with, then he or someone else followed me. I eventually talked him into realising it would be more beneficial for me to have my own car with me, so we had picked it up one day after school.
Those first two or three days I was here, Shawn practically glued himself to me, he cooked me three square meals a day and took me wherever I needed to go, however the last week and a half he seems to leave a room as I enter it. He leaves notes or text messages letting me know there is food in the fridge that I just needed to heat up.
I was afraid that I had imposed myself into his life too much. It was obvious that he regretted having me here, I had tried to keep my feelings for him in check, but I had been told in the past that my facial expressions sometimes gave what I truly felt away for all to see. I hadn’t wanted to come here, but actually, now I was here the strange thing was that I didn’t want to leave. I had known for a while that Shawn had a calming effect on me, well it seemed his house did the same thing. Whether it was just his essence in his home, even though he said he hadn’t lived here for six months, I just felt… better here. My pride however wouldn’t let me stay where I wasn’t wanted. We had never mentioned how long I would stay for, I had assumed two or three weeks, so we had almost done that.
There had been no more sightings of the rogues and no more bodies, it was foolish to think they were gone, two weeks was nothing really but at least for now they were back into hiding. I was the one that had to come out of hiding, to be honest I wasn’t sure who was hiding more, me or Shawn, but I knew I had to do or say something, so I had planned to get up earlier than usual to try and catch Shawn before he left.
I grabbed a hoodie to put on over my pyjamas and left my room, I walked down the hall and into the kitchen where I could see Shawn stood at the counter, his shoulders seemed to stiffen as I got closer, maybe it was just my imagination.
“Hey.” I spoke first and sat down at the table, pulling my legs up and wrapping my arms around them, balancing on the chair.
“Hey, you’re up early, everything alright?” he kept his back to me as he spoke, another indication that something was undoubtedly wrong.
“I was sort of hoping you would tell me that.” That actually did gain his attention and he swiftly turned his head to look at me, his eyes fixed on me, making me want to curl even further into the chair.
“Amber… What are you talking about?” His jaw clenched and he put down whatever was in his hands and turned his body fully to face me.
“Look… I’ll get my stuff together and be out of here by this afternoon, the rogues don’t seem…”
“Amber… stop. You need to explain to what’s going on in your head.” His eyes still focused on me and now his arm muscles twitched too, the movement was mesmerising; and I had to drag my eyes away so I could say what I had planned to say.
“My… being… here is obviously an issue and I just wanted to say thank you for looking after me and all but I think its best that I go back home. So yeah, that’s about it.” He didn’t move. Not an inch, but the way his gaze focused on me I felt like he was stood directly in front of me.
“No.” He turned back around, dismissing what I had said completely.
“What do you mean, no?” I asked, slightly shocked by his response. I had thought he would jump at the chance to get rid of me.
“You’re a smart girl. You know what no means. Surely, I don’t need to explain any further.” I paid attention to what he was doing and realised he was prepping some vegetables, he simply carried on chopping them, while I felt my anger rise a little at being dismissed so easily.
“Yes of course I know what no means. However, I mean, why? Why… you clearly don’t want me here and…” he cut me off, still chopping the vegetables.
“Why do I clearly not want you here?” I had to laugh, and I stood, taking a step towards him.
“When was the last time you actually spoke to me, that wasn’t on a post-it or a text? You leave before I’m up and get back after I’m in bed. Now I’m sorry if you feel uncomfortable around me… after what I said… but this was your idea not mine.” He still didn’t look at me and it angered me even more.
“My answer doesn’t change.” That sentence caused me to laugh again and his shoulders tensed up.
“I didn’t need an answer, I wanted a response. I wasn’t asking permission. Shawn… I … You won’t even look at me. What else am I supposed to think? Don’t worry, I’ll be gone by the time you’re back later.” I turned to walk away but his hand swooped out and grabbed my arm, firmly but not to hurt me. He pulled me in front of him and caged me in against the counter. His face close to mine. He eyes searching mine, for what, I wasn’t sure. My breathing fast becoming uncontrolled and I held my breath to try to get it back to normal.
“You’re wrong. I do want you here. I need you here… to keep you safe.” He lowered his head to the side of my face and ran his nose gently along my jaw line, and I had to take hold of the countertop behind me to keep from falling, all feeling in my legs had now left my body.
“Stay, please. I’ll do better.” Confusing setting in, with the numbness of my body, I wasn’t sure I was following what he was saying.
“Shawn, you don’t need to do better, this is your home. You should feel comfortable here. I…” I what? I’ll go.. I’ll stay? I didn’t know what I should be wanting to do right now.
“I am comfortable. As long as you are safe. Here is better for you…” I took a deep breath and with the oxygen came more clarity.
“Shawn, I can’t keep forcing you out of your own home.”
“Then where are you all the time. I haven’t seen you in over a week.” I tried to push him away a little, just so I could try to breathe more normal, the close proximity was doing nothing for my getting over him. He however didn’t budge, just bought his face in front of mine again, piercing me with his gaze.
“I’ve been here. Outside, listening, watching.” My brows scrunch in bewilderment of what he was saying.
“Why were you outside. Why didn’t you come in?” He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, taking a step away and turning from me. I released my breathe that I hadn’t realised I had once again held.
“Amber… things are just really… busy… right now, and I can’t explain everything. I just… I need you to stay, please. I will pick you up from class later and tonight we can talk. Is that alright? I know I probably don’t make much sense…” He finally turns to me when he is on the other side of the room and I wish for the closeness of him again.
“Alright, yes… we can talk later. I’ll stay… for now.” His jaw muscle jumps again when I add the last two words. But he nods and point at me, moving his finger up and down.
“You should get dressed. I’ll take you this morning.” Then he turns and walks towards his room, closing the door behind him.
I made myself a coffee before getting ready, I felt like I needed the caffeine to stabilize me. I leant on the counter and tried to replay what had just happened. If I didn’t know any better I would say that he… but I do know better. He has made it very clear, things could not and would not between us. But then… why had he just acted like he had? And what did he mean by saying he was outside all the time. Watching for what? Watching who? …Me?
A coughing from behind bought me back from my thoughts, I held my coffee cup tighter only to find it had now gone cold and I hadn’t really drunk it, too lost in my own jumbled head, I took a gulp of it anyway.
“You really should get dressed, someone is dropping by shortly to drop off some things for me, then we’ll leave for class.” His voice seemed quieter, gentler somehow. Not that it was ever harsh, but he just seemed less sure.
“Sure, yeah… sorry I lost track of time.” I walked past with my head down, I couldn’t help but smell the fresh scent of his shower gel and it made me a little disappointed. He would have washed off my scent and replaced it with his own. If he were human, he could’ve just gone on his day and not had to think about our encounter earlier, if encounter is the best way to describe it.
But he wasn’t a normal human, he was a Warrior Werewolf.