The hours that followed were horrid, I felt the tingles invade my skin, covering me in a menthol blanket. I felt them vibrate over and over to my core. Really? Heat RightNow? We literally took care of that hours ago! Can I not just lay here, and enjoy one normal day?
I found myself holding my abdomen, and breathing through my nose to steady myself. Eir smelled Aric at my door several times. I knew Adam was in debate over what happened in the dining hall, and he wanted to talk, but I'm also sure he was worried about my reaction.
I really just wanted to sleep, but this shit was getting unbearable. I hunched over several times, trying to make it to my bathroom. Cold water will help, I got to my feet and slowly made my way, cringing along the way as I held onto the wall for support. I heard a small knock, and smelled the savoring chocolate and spices, fuck, really? RightNow? I grunted holding my sharpened pain, I was just going to ignore him RightNow . Why the fuck does my bathroom have to be so far. I was nearly there when a knock pounded harder, in my attention facing the door I missed the table that was directly in my way, knocking over a vase of flowers.
"F-fuck." I said a little too loudly, next thing I knew my door was shoved open. Adam was standing there, eyes glazed in black .
"Aric I'm f-fine." I grunted falling on the floor taking the table with me "Shit."
Aric took in a longer inhale than I would've liked, he immediately scooped me up, his fingers digging into me, as he steadied his breathing. He took me to the shower and ran the faucet. I looked into his face, and saw Aric and Adam were fighting for dominance. I moaned , and Adam looked like he was about to burst with hunger. He sat me in the water, I didn't even realize I had labored breathing.
"Thank you…" I laughed a little as my body shook, my body was relishing in its own pleasure, it was unbelievable.
Aric was still fighting for control. I pushed myself up, cupping Adam's cheek, Adam's eyes closed in bliss, he let out a breath of relief.
"Aric can I have Adam back please?"
He nodded with his eyes closed, I was happy to see the green when they opened again. I returned laying back into my tub, and gave a small smile.
"Hey." My teeth chattered from my body's shiver. It was like having withdrawals I swear, a nausea wave filled me , before the gut dropping feeling of heat surfaced again.
"Hey…" he sat on the floor beside my tub "Maze-I-I"
"Shh, it's okay Adam...you never have to explain yourself to me. "
"Yes I do. I don't want you to think I chose her over you, but you have to understand…" he scooted closer making himself comfortable. The tub began to fill, I loved this thing even if I was stuck in here with my clothes on."To my understanding Candace was an orphan. I grew up with her, that's why I am protective of her. She wasn't just an arranged stranger. We met when we were kids, and again when my grandfather announced our engagement. We found out about it that day and just went with it. Her mate was killed so she was a mess, and she leaned on me a lot to help her through it. Being engaged to her wasn't just a pack duty after it was a duty to her to help her heal."
I was still panting, letting the shock course through me. I really didn't want to have this conversation RightNow. "Adam it's fine...you had a life before me. I can't exactly hold it against you. We were just a cruel joke to be mated. If you want to stay with Candace I wouldn't stop you."
His expression was angered "Why would you say that? You marked me, even if I wanted to I can't, I wouldn't, Aric and I want you both too much. I'm repulsed by being with anyone else but you. Sleeping next to her was intolerable. I slept on the floor most of the time or the couch. "
I smiled sadly, grunting at another wave of heat hitting me. I wanted nothing more than to hug, against him, to comfort us both. I miss the peace."You don't even know me Adam. It's just the bond. "
"Why do you do that?"
"Push what you're really feeling away?"
"Well you got me there...it's easier."
Adam stood up taking off his shirt and pants. Leaving his boxers,"what are you doing?"
"It's really fucking hard to talk to you like this, sit up."
I obliged, he got in behind me, scooting up to run the showerhead on us. We both sighed in response to our bodies being close, and the water cooling us down. I leaned my back into him.
"I'm just …" I started, taking in a deep breath, this is it I'm going to be honest. This is so stupid. Send me into battle fine, have me fight my own God, sure I can do it, have me tortured obviously I can deal, but this. Uncharted territory, has been for too many years.
I felt Eir get frustrated and shove me back like she had when with Fenrir.
"Maze is afraid of losing this. You're her first sense of peace she's had in years...not even with Ezra did she feel so at home. "
"Yes," I felt Eir shift to the other side of the tub so Adam's knees and mine were connected " sometimes she can't handle being…" Eir motioned all around "Here. You came to her at her best self so be thankful. It took a long time for us to get here, to leave the nightmare behind, but she would do it all again if it meant to save the people who need her."
"That bastard messed her up pretty bad didn't he?"
"It made her strong, it made her weak, it made her who she was when she chose to move forward, to never be his captive again. She has her days, but they're here." She poked at my temple. "That's where I come in, I take the pain she has, since meeting you that has been a lot less. She will never see you as her savior, but she will see you as something she never realized she missed."
Adam smiled "Thank you Eir...can I have her back please."
"Adam… thank you for trying to understand her." I felt myself begin to be pulled back
I got out of my soaked clothes, wrapped myself in a towel, handing one to Adam. My heat subsided. It was safe to be around each other. I wonder if any other mates had ever gone through this. I mean I'm sure they were mated with purpose but still. Was it always this ... awkward would be the best way to put it guess. I pulled on a baggy old t-shirt and shorts and went into bed. Adam was collecting his clothes from the bathroom floor and was beginning to head out.
"Stay with me?" The words came out before I could stop them.
" Okay." He smiled, but suddenly stopped looking at his soaked boxers. I grabbed an old pair of gym shorts under my bed, and tossed them to him. He looked at them for a minute. And I suddenly realized why.
"They aren't Ezra's." He shrugged trying to play it off but I could see the calm come back to him
"We have various sizes and types of clothing everywhere in the house and forest in case shifts happen." I explained. "Relax. I don't have anything of his here."
He changed into his shorts and got under the covers with me " How did that work anyways?"
" You and him."
I groaned "Is that something we need to talk about?"
He smirked "I'm just nosey, I mean I did tell you about Candace."
I rolled my eyes, I didn't ask him to, "He was my father's Beta, I've known him my whole life. He was the only man I trusted when I came back. There isn't much to it " I shrugged "oh!" I got out of the bed and went to my bedroom pantry bringing out cookies, brownies , and various amounts of sweets left from Marie's stolen stash. I'll make a note to buy Micheal more. I handed them off to Adam and realized my embarrassment, maybe I was too eager?
He grinned opening the brownies " Were you just waiting for me to stay a night?"
I smacked him, blushing "No. They were stolen by Marie so just thought why ...uhm have it go to waste."
We talked the rest of the time, talked about our lives before we met, I told him about what happened with Rhett. Something I had been reluctant to share with anyone. It was a grand mass lifted from me, poison sucked from my internal wound. And for once...I didn't panic, I didn't cry, I just sooke. There was nothing about putting on a brave face about it. I think I was just tired, I think I wanted him to see more than that.
When we finally got to the topic he had been dying to find out about, we talked about my trip with Fenrir. I wasn't even sure what possessed me to share the collar with him. But somehow I just couldn't lie to him or keep things secret. It was literally painful, I guess they don't joke when they say mates are your literal other half. It was only before moments before we drifted into sleep, I realized I had been smiling the whole time.