To my surprise it wasn’t Rhea or Hadley who had said that, but Anya. Anya who was normally quiet and shy had just raised her voice at me. For a moment I was silent, the fact that Anya had spoken to me and had actually raised her voice stunned me. I quickly shook myself out of it and looked down at my hands.
“Trinity what did you do,” Rhea asked, her voice gentle and I sighed.
“I was afraid he was going to kiss me and I backed up,” I murmured and Anya groaned. I glanced at the pretty redhead. “What?”
“He thinks that you’re rejecting him,” Anya snapped, “Even though you read the books you don’t seem to understand anything.”
“Anya,” Rhea admonished, her voice softened, “But she isn’t wrong Trinity, that can be considered a rejection. Why are you so scared of a relationship with him?”
“I don’t know!” I finally exploded, throwing my hands up in the air. “I just know that I want to move at my own pace, and my own pace doesn’t include jumping into a relationship. I just...I don’t really know any of you that well and it would be like jumping into a relationship with a total stranger.”
A smile made its way onto Rhea’s face and she looked very excited, “So you’re saying that if you knew Max better you would consider a relationship?”
I hesitantly nodded my head and Rhea grinned, clapping her hands together. I sighed, giving her a flat look but that didn’t take away her enthusiasm. At my admission Anya and Hadley had relieved looks on their faces.
“Accepting him will make him a lot less volatile,” Hadley explained, “Thank you for giving him a chance.”
“It’ll only be after I get to know him,” I snapped, and Hadley rolled her eyes at me.
“Whatever Trinity, say whatever you want. You are still giving Max a chance.”
She was right. No matter what I said, I would still be giving Max a chance. Despite how little I knew about him, he had grown on me and without my knowledge I had started to harbor some feelings of affection for him. I heaved a sigh.
“What do I do,” I asked, staring at my friends.
“You go find Max,” Anya said and I looked at her startled, “He’ll want to hear from you that you are considering giving him a chance if the two of you get to know each other. He won’t want to hear it from us.”
“It’s dangerous though,” Hadley protested, “Max wouldn’t want her getting hurt. Let’s just tell him to come back here because Trinity wants to speak with him, that way she won’t go traipsing through the forest and risk getting hurt. Max would be even more upset about that.”
“Whatever,” Anya sniffed, “I still think that she should go find Max.”
“Anya,” Rhea snapped, and I heard a whimper. “Enough. I don’t understand what your problem is but she is our future Luna, and she still needs to be respected.” Rhea softened her tone when she turned to me, “Max will be here in a few minutes Trinity.”
I nodded and stared at the countertop. Rhea made it sound like such a sure thing that I would be the Luna. It seemed that she fervently believed that I would be with Max in the future and the idea wasn’t as repulsive as it would have seemed a few days ago. I couldn’t fathom why Anya didn’t like me though. Was it because of the way that I had treated Max? But I hadn’t known what effect I would have on him exactly.
I was so lost in my thoughts that I hadn’t even registered anyone entering the kitchen until I felt a hand on the small of my back. I jumped, letting out a small squeal. I blushed. When had I ever squealed? I turned to look at the person and was delighted to see that it was Max. Like this morning he wasn’t wearing a shirt and his shorts were the same ones that he had been wearing this morning as well.
“You wanted to talk to me,” He asked, his eyes surveying me. Even though he was upset, he still managed to look at me softly and I felt my chest warm.
“I did,” I answered softly, “I wanted to say that-”
“Raven,” Anya squealed and I heard the clicking of her heels on the wooden floor.
Right. We weren’t alone.
“Um...Can we go somewhere else to talk,” I questioned hesitantly and Max nodded. I hopped off of the stool that I had been sitting on and followed him outside. Once we were a few feet away from the house, Max motioned for me to continue talking. “I wanted to say that I will give you a chance, after we get to know each other better.”
“A chance at what,” Max asked dumbly and I stared at him for a moment.
“A relationship,” I clarified, “I’d be willing to try a relationship. I just...I don’t want to jump into a relationship with someone that I hardly know. I know that we are mates and with the werewolf mentality or whatever it shouldn’t matter, but I’m not a werewolf. I’m human. I can’t just be in a relationship with a total stranger.”
“So if we get to know each other, you are saying that I have a shot at a relationship with you,” Max summarized and I nodded. A smile came onto his face, “Good.”
“Are we good,” I asked and Max nodded.
“I wasn’t ever really mad at you Trinity,” He murmured, “I was hurt and upset. I still am a little, but....It will fade.”
I nodded. I was relieved that he wasn’t mad at me, but I was also sad that I had upset him. I hadn’t meant to. We fell into silence but it wasn’t an awkward kind of silence. After a few minutes Max spoke up.
“Do you want to watch us train,” He asked and he smiled at my confused look. “When you shift, you’ll start to train with us so it would be a good idea for you to watch.”
“I don’t,” I spoke hesitantly, “I still have almost a year until I shift.”
“True,” Max agreed, “But there is a lot to learn. Please.”
I huffed and then nodded. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get an idea of what the training would be like. It would also give me a chance to see Max and my friends in action. Max grinned and reached out his hand toward me. I bit my lip before smiling and taking his hand in mine.
Together the two of us walked back in the direction of the house. We bypassed the house and headed to a clearing, near the woods. There were about thirty people assembled there. Among them I could see Alex, Rhea, Hadley, Josh and Keith. Anya was the only one who was missing.
Heads turned toward us and even though we were still a good distance away I could see the large grin on Hadley’s and Rhea’s faces.
“Where’s Anya,” I asked and Max glanced at me.
“She doesn’t come to training,” Max murmured, “With the pack members it’s mandatory up until a certain point. Most of the pack though, likes to come and train. It helps them to keep their senses and fighting skills sharp. Anya seems to have a lot of faith in her mate and the pack in general, and doesn’t seem to see a point in coming to the sessions.”
“If it’s not mandatory then why does it sound like a sure thing for me to be regularly here when I shift,” I asked and Max grinned a little sheepishly.
“For you it will be mandatory,” He murmured, “I don’t want to take any chances with my Luna. I want to know that you will be able to defend yourself if the time ever comes.”
I nodded. I was silent as we walked the rest of the way. Max stood in front of the thirty or so pack members, not letting go of my hand. I felt my cheeks heat up under the scrutiny of the pack and shifted on my feet. Max squeezed my hand and I leaned closer to him, finding comfort in his touch.
“Today we’ll pair off. We’ll fight in human form and in wolf form,” Max said, “But before we do that. I would like to introduce you to your future Luna, Trinity. She’ll be observing us today, and will eventually join us in training. But for now, she will just observe.” There was silence before everyone was nodding and giving me small smiles. “Pair up!”