Hope Springs

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Chapter 30

It was nearing dusk by the time that we reached the mountains and Max had led us to an abandoned cabin, but there wasn’t enough room for what remained of the pack so he had sent others to gather wood for fire and then the others to head towards the outskirts of Summer Falls to gather tents and food. The rest of us were supposed to rest and recover. I lay sprawled out on one of the beds, trying to get to sleep but I knew that there was no point. There was too much noise and movement within the cabin and it was making sleep elude my grasp.

I sighed, rolling onto my side and staring at the wall. The finale was coming soon and it was making me anxious. Soon this whole thing would be over but how many people would die? The door opened to the room and I sat up, looking towards it. Max poked his head in giving me a boyish smile and I relaxed.

“Hadley told me that you were in here,” He said, walking into the room. “Are you okay?”

“Honestly?” I questioned, “Not really. I’m consumed with thoughts of doom and gloom to be honest. This whole debacle is going to be over soon and I’m starting to get anxious. I’m terrified that once the final battle begins I’m going to lose the people that I love.” A pause. Then I said, “Not to sound overly dramatic or anything.”

Max sat by the bed beside me and wrapped an arm around my waist, pulling me towards him. “Even if you are sounding a bit dramatic, I understand. You are still new to the werewolf world and this is your first major conflict, you have every right to be nervous. But you don’t need to be. The pack is strong and can protect itself. We were taken by surprise before but now we know who our real enemy is and we know that we have to work together.

“We’ll be fine. Everything will work out Trinity, so don’t worry so much.” He pressed a tender kiss to my temple. “Just relax.”

I sighed. I didn’t know if it was possible for me to relax! I was going to be consumed with worry for everyone and I didn’t understand how he thought it was remotely possible for me to relax. Max let out an audible sigh and grabbed me by the waist so that I was sitting on his lap, facing him.

“Calm down Trinity.” Max said, “You need to just relax. Stop worrying.”

“I can’t.” I argued, starting to get worked up. Tears were building in my eyes out of frustration that he wasn’t understanding why exactly I wasn’t as calm as he was. “I can’t stop worrying! Even though it isn’t something that I can control and so logically I shouldn’t worry, I can’t help it! I don’t want anyone to get hur-”

He interrupted me but pressing his lips to mine and I froze. This was my first kiss. It was kind of pathetic that at my age, this was my first kiss but I had never really dated before. Max gripped my waist and pressed his lips more firmly to mine. My eyes slowly fluttered shut and I wrapped my arms around his neck. Slowly I felt myself began to relax as we kissed.

Max’s hands slipped under my shirt and when I didn’t do anything to stop him, he grew bolder, grabbing the hem of my shirt and pulling it over my head. Our kissing resumed and I pushed him down onto the bed. If this was going to be one of our last nights, I was going to enjoy it and not regret how irresponsible I was being.

When I woke up I wasn’t alone and I hummed, scooting closer to the body occupying the space next to me. The arm that was around my waist tightened and lips pressed to the back of my neck. I opened my eyes, blinking sleepily.

“Good morning,” Max said in a husky voice and I smiled, scooting closer to him.

“Good morning,” I echoed. “You’re still here.”

“Why wouldn’t I be?” He questioned and I flushed. “Trinity, did you think I would regret what we did?” I didn’t reply and he sighed, squeezing my hip. “I don’t. You are my mate and there isn’t anything to regret.”

“You’re right.” I admitted quietly and turned in his arms to face him. “Do we have to get up?”

His eyes gleamed mischievously and he moved to hover over me. His lips descended on mine and I was lost in his touch instantly. I was pliant under his touch and groaned into his mouth as the kiss deepened. He swallowed my groan, his kiss becoming more urgent as his hand kneaded my stomach. He wasn’t daring to go any higher and I appreciated that.

I was still a little sore from the roughness of last night. The door to the room opened silently and Max pulled away from me, a growl rumbling in his throat and his eyes glowing gold.

“S-Sorry!” A voice squeaked and I peeked my head over the covers. “I-I...Sorry.”

Rhea. Max groaned, resting his forehead against mine for a brief moment before he reluctantly rolled off of me. I sat up a little more, clutching the covers to my chest so that I could see her. Her hands were covering her eyes and her cheeks had flushed a bright red.

“Did you need something Rhea?” I asked, some embarrassment in my tone.

Hesitantly she uncovered her eyes and stared at me for a few moments. She still seemed stupefied. Max sat up a little bit too, looking at Rhea with an annoyed look in his eyes and I placed my hand on his shoulder, rubbing it lightly.

If she wasn’t going to say anything than why did she interrupt? Max grumbled, frustration evident in his tone and I smiled at him softly.

“Please don’t kiss!” Rhea finally spoke and I jerked away from Max with a start. I hadn’t realized that we had both been leaning closer to each other. “Um...The pack is gathered outside and we have fifteen tents and enough food to last us a whole month. They want to know what to do next, and they have some information about Summer Falls and about what is going on in Hope Springs.”

Max groaned, throwing a hand over his eyes. He didn’t want to deal with this right now and to be honest neither did I but this was something that we had to take care of.

“We’ll be out in a few moments,” I said, glancing down at Max to see that he was already watching me.

Rhea nodded and scurried out of the room as fast as she could. I don’t think that she would ever be able to look at us the same way ever again. The door opened again and my head shot towards it. I was glad that I hadn’t dropped the blanket yet. Rhea stuck her head in, her hands once again covering her eyes.

“Um...I brought clothes.” Her cheeks were burning brightly and I smiled at her, even though she couldn’t see me.

“Thank you Rhea,” I said, amusement seeping into my tone and she nodded jerkily, tossing some clothes in our general direction before shutting the door with a bang and fleeing to the first floor.

I stood up, letting the blanket fall from my body. I felt myself flush under Max’s heated look but I knew that I didn’t need to feel embarrassed because of my nakedness. I bent down, picking the clothes up from where they landed and heard a growl. I glanced toward Max who was studiously avoiding looking at me.

“Something wrong Max?” I asked, laying the clothes on the bed and looking through them.

I had no doubt that Hadley had picked them out. I picked up the lacy undergarments and wrinkled my nose. I didn’t like lace. It itched. I headed towards the bathroom and felt a smile curl my lips when Max’s body appeared behind mine, his arms circling around my waist.

“Are you sure that we have to go out there and socialize with the pack?” He asked, his voice petulant. “Surely we can figure out a battle plan later.”

“Sorry,” I gently extracted myself from his arms. “Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury, and we will never have that luxury if this problem isn’t sorted out.” I took a deep breath, “Besides, it would make me feel a lot better if we made a battle plan.”

He reluctantly agreed with me and followed me into the shower.

Max came out of the shower first grinning widely and a small smile was on my lips as I followed him out of the bathroom. I searched for a towel and jerked when something swatted my side. I looked to the side, a scowl crossing my face when I saw that Max was holding a towel that was curled.

“Max,” I pouted, “Let go of the towel whip. I need to dry my hair.” His face dropped and his eyes softened. I batted my lashes and with a sigh he handed me the towel. “Thank you. Now go get dressed.”

“Why? Am I distracting?” He inquired and I turned towards the mirror as I towel dried my hair.

“Well if you want to go greet the pack naked I guess that choice is up to you,” I answered, avoiding answering the question. Because yes, he was very distracting.

I finished drying my hair and headed into the bedroom. To my happiness Max was already dressed and was towel drying his hair as well. I shimmied into the lace underwear but had trouble clasping the bra. With a sigh, I took the jeans that Hadley had given me and struggled to get into them. How many times had I told her that I didn’t like skinny jeans? Countless times but she still insisted on gifting me with them.

I grabbed the lace bra and glanced at Max. “Max, will you help me clasp this?”

He looked towards me and nodded, clambering to his feet hurriedly. He came up behind me and with fumbling fingers clasped the bra. As soon as he had done that I had pulled the shirt over my head. I tugged some socks onto my feet and searched for some shoes, but I couldn’t find any.

Maybe there were some downstairs. Max grabbed my hand and I glanced at him, a small smile once again appearing on my face. It seemed that today I would be nothing but smiles.

“Are you ready to face the wolves?” He asked, a teasing glint in his eyes.

“Nope, but let’s go.”
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