Rhea, Hadley and Max taught me about werewolves for the next three hours and as the sun began to set, I wondered how much more there was to learn. I still hadn’t told them why I needed to know all about werewolves and they didn’t ask any questions but I could tell that they were really curious. After about another hour of studying, I had begged them to let me sleep and although they said that we still had a lot to get through they agreed. Rhea informed me that I would be sleeping on the second floor, in her room and I gave her a thankful look. When we arrived at her room, I was relieved to see that someone had placed my duffel bag full of items on Rhea’s bed.
“Are you okay with us being werewolves now,” Rhea asked, going to her closet while I rummaged through my duffel bag.
I grabbed my sleep shorts and grey sweatshirt that had my last name on the back. I pulled off my shirt, “I guess I am.” I pulled my sweatshirt on, “It still bothers me a little but not as much. I think after doing all that research and grasping how real it is that it doesn’t affect me as much. It’s still a little strange though, but I’m coping with it.”
“Good,” Rhea murmured and I glanced at her. She had already changed into her sleep attire, a long sleeved white silk shirt and purple silk shorts. She grabbed a brush from her bedside table and started brushing through her blonde hair. “I understand that it was new to you but your reaction did hurt us, and Max was a mess.”
“I understand that now,” I murmured, “At first I didn’t really understand. It was all a bunch of things being thrown at me and I hadn’t fully processed anything, and at the time I didn’t even understand what being mates meant.”
“I get that, I really do,” Rhea answered, “But it still won’t erase the hurt.”
I sighed. I understood that. I knew that I had hurt them, by totally freaking out but any normal person would freak out when finding out that their friends were werewolves. It wasn’t a totally unwarranted reaction, and to me it was a fair reaction. Pop culture didn’t really give werewolves a good name. Even Twilight, didn’t portray werewolves in the most positive light; they were considered beasts with anger issues, that could possibly hurt their mate.
I hadn’t known much about werewolves but what I had known wasn’t good. I felt it was completely justified for me to freak out, but Rhea and Hadley seemed to disagree. I grabbed my brush, quickly brushing through my hair and trying to let the conversation go. It seemed like they were blaming me, but I didn’t think that was fair to place a majority of the blame on me. I harshly pulled my hair into a low ponytail, wincing when I pulled my hair too hard.
“How about we just agree that both of us were at fault,” Rhea suggested, “So....How are you and Max?”
“Max and I aren’t anything,” I murmured, “We are friends.”
Rhea pouted as she crawled into her bed, laying on top of the covers while I snuggled beneath them. I remembered from the reading that werewolves did run at a slightly higher temperature than humans.
“Do you want to be more than friends,” She inquired and I flushed. “Do you,” Her voice grew excited, “Do you?”
“I don’t know,” I answered, “I know that I’ve been saying this a lot, but the werewolf thing is a lot to take in and-”
“I think you are just making excuses,” Rhea interrupted, “Max likes you and I know that you must find him attractive. Why can’t you just take a leap, and trust that Max will be there for you? You read about the mate bond, and you know how precious a werewolf’s mate is. Max would never do anything to purposefully hurt you.”
I shrugged, “I know that Rhea, I do. I just....I don’t know. Maybe I’m not ready for a relationship.”
Rhea sighed, “But you and Max are fated to be together! You guys will end up being in a relationship at some point in time.”
“If we ever get in a relationship it will be by our choice, now please Rhea just let it go,” I pleaded, “I want to go to sleep and I don’t want to talk about Max.”
Rhea finally agreed and the two of us fell asleep. I slept fitfully, and tossed and turned. I didn’t dream, but I was restless. It was four in the morning when I finally roused myself from sleep and I sighed. I wouldn’t be getting anymore sleep tonight, it seemed. I sat up in the bed, running my fingers through my hair before climbing out of the bed. Goosebumps arose on my skin as I walked across the cold hardwood floor and towards my duffel bag. I rummaged through it, before completely abandoning my search for my sketchbook and exiting the room. I glanced down the hallway and headed down to the first floor.
The first floor was dimly lit and I could hear voices coming from the kitchen. It sounded like Max....and Hadley. I walked into the kitchen and Hadley beamed at me, while Max just watched me as I went to the faucet and turned the water on. I turned around, ready to go looking for a glass when Max was in front of me, holding one out to me.
“Thank you,” I whispered, turning back around and filling up the glass. “What are you still doing up?” I looked at him through my lashes, shyly.
His lips lifted into a smile, “I could be asking you the same question Trinity. My Dad has been trying to figure out who the men at your house are. He suspects that it could have been men that Loup Chasseur sent, but we aren’t sure.”
I nodded, “Does he know where my family is?”
Max shook his head, his eyes concerned as he watched me. “He doesn’t but he’s sent two of our best trackers out to see if they can find them. We’ll find your family.”
“But will they be alive,” I asked, morbid thoughts beginning to fill my head.
Max reached out and wrapped his arms around my waist, drawing me back so I was flush against his chest. I took another sip of my water, my cheeks heating up when Hadley grinned slyly at me.
“Don’t worry about that yet,” Max murmured, “Loup Chasseur doesn’t make a habit of hurting humans. They will be fine.”
I lowered my eyes to the floor, giving him a small nod to show that I had heard him. I didn’t really believe him though. If they thought that my family knew something about werewolves, more than they were letting on, would they do whatever it takes to find out? Jeanine....Mom....She was someone that I was close to but I feared for Dad and Maria more. Mom and May had always been very close and I had always been a Daddy’s girl.
“Trinity stop worrying about them,” Max murmured, “We’ll find them, and if they are injured the pack will make sure that their wounds will be treated. But continuing to worry about them will make you sick.”
I shrugged, taking another sip of my water, avoiding Hadley’s eyes and leaning slightly away from Max. I knew that worrying would do nothing to help them, but they were my family. I cared about them, even if I was a little mad that they had hidden my adoption records from me and had kept a lot of secrets. Despite that, they were the only family I had ever known and I didn’t want them to be hurt.
Max let out a sigh, clutching me closer to his chest. “Go to sleep Trinity.”
I frowned, “I can’t.”
“I don’t know,” I shrugged, “I just felt restless and now that I’m awake, I can’t help but worry for my family since I don’t know where they are.”
“Um, I’m still here,” Hadley spoke up, smiling sheepishly at Max and I. “Trinity, Max is right you need to stop worrying. I know that it’s hard since they are your adoptive family but you need to relax. We’ll find them,” She smiled reassuringly at me, “Max stop being super protective.” At our looks she sighed, “I know, I know I shouldn’t have gotten involved. But the two of you are just so awkward sometimes. You need to kiss and become a couple already.”
“Hadley,” Max growled and I took a small step away from him. He glanced down at me, his eyes showing his hurt before he glared at Hadley.
“Sorry, I guess it wasn’t my place but,” She shrugged helplessly, “Trin if you have trouble sleeping maybe you just need to be closer to your mate.” I looked at her in confusion and she sighed, “Didn’t you read the book about mates?”
“I did,” I answered and she sighed.
“Obviously it didn’t sink in,” Hadley ran her hands through her hair, “You aren’t claimed and Max’s wolf is going to be restless because of that and even though you aren’t a wolf you can still feel the effects of the bond, so you are going to be feeling a little restless too. Obviously you won’t be feeling as restless as Max, but you still aren’t going to be completely ignorant to the feelings. Am I making sense?”
Max nodded, “Yeah. I’m restless and because of the mate bond Trinity can feel a little bit of that restlessness.”
“To simplify everything I just said, then yes,” Hadley answered. She gracefully got off of the stool that she was sitting on and walked out of the kitchen. I was assuming that she was going back to her room.
“Tell Alex that he has to be up at six,” Max called and Hadley flipped him off. Max chuckled and I glanced at him, my face displaying my confusion. “Hadley has moved into Alex’s room, and we all like to give them crap for it, even though they don’t do anything,” Max explained, and I gave him a small smile.
“I didn’t picture Hadley as someone who would flip anyone off,” I murmured and Max grinned, reaching out again and wrapping his arms around my waist. It seemed that he wasn’t very good at resisting the urge to touch me.
“At school Hadley portrays this bubbly character,” Max tightened his arms around my waist, “She is actually quite bubbly but she is sassier than she portrays around humans.”
When I woke up, I was alone but I wasn’t in Rhea’s room. The room was painted a dark blue color and it screamed masculinity. I quickly was able to come to the conclusion that this had to be Max’s room. I was right, because a few minutes after I had woken up, Max entered the room. His dark hair was tousled and my eyes drifted slowly over his body. He was shirtless and had a light sheen of sweat covering his body. The blue shorts that he was wearing hung dangerously low on his hips and I swallowed hard, before raising my eyes back up to meet his.
“See something you like,” He asked huskily and I swallowed hard again.
“Maybe,” I answered back, sounding breathless and Max beamed. I think he was satisfied to know that he affected me and was able to get a reaction out of me.
“How did you sleep,” Max asked, crossing over to the bed and smiling down at me.
I stretched my arms above my head and smiled a little sleepily at him, “I slept perfectly. How did you sleep?”
He just grinned, and didn’t say anything. I pouted and Max smiled, brushing his thumb against my lip and I backed away from him. I was comfortable around him, but I wasn’t ready for a relationship just yet. A hurt look crossed Max’s face and I stared at him apologetically.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized, “I’m just...I’m not ready for a relationship.”
“It’s my fault,” Max shook his head, his face became expressionless. “I’ll see you downstairs Trinity.”
“Max,” I whispered as he walked out of the room. I hadn’t meant to hurt him at all but...I had forgotten how sensitive males were when it came to their females. I looked around, noticing that my duffel bag had been brought in and I smiled in relief. I changed into jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt and brushed through my hair as quickly as I could.
After I had changed I made my way downstairs and to the kitchen, seeing Max at the counter eating, Hadley and Alex standing by the sink looking cute, Josh and Anya sitting at the dining table, and Rhea was standing in front of the stove.
“Hi Trinity,” Rhea greeted me, without turning around from the stove and I murmured a quiet greeting back. “Did you sleep okay?”
“Yeah,” I answered, “Did you?”
Rhea nodded and Hadley grinned at me, giving me a small wave before turning all of her attention onto Alex and speaking animatedly to him. I approached Max and sat beside him, giving him a shy smile. He just nodded before standing up abruptly and striding out of the room and into the yard. I stared after him, shocked and a little hurt.
“What did you do?”