You Belong to Me
I’m waiting for Aria at the pack doctor’s office when Skylar walks through the front door. She grins when she sees me and my wolf growls. I feel a little bad for her, though. She’s so unsuspecting of the feelings that I’ve developed for Aria seemingly overnight.
“Perseus,” she purrs, sauntering up to me and trailing her fingers down my chest.
“Skylar,” I greet her, subtly removing her hand. “Where’s Aria? Eloise is waiting on her.”
“She asked me to drop her off at the pack apartment because she had a headache and she was going to drive herself. I was hoping we could talk about Aria, though.” I take a deep breath, ready to confess when she continues. “I think she’s hiding something. She seemed really off today. Almost like she was scared, and she smelled like a wolf—someone I’ve never come across before.”
“What are you trying to say, Skylar?” I hiss through clenched teeth. If one more person accuses her of deceiving me, I might lose me temper.
“I think maybe someone is harassing her or something,” she whispers. “She wouldn’t talk about it. I mean, she could be coercing with someone, but she seems authentic to me. I think someone is messing with her.”
“You think someone is hurting her?!”
Atlas roars and I fight for control. He’s ready to shift and hunt her down, force her to tell me who’s been hurting her, and then he’s out for blood.
“I didn’t say hurting,” Skylar corrects me, giving me an odd look. “Physically she seems fine. She just seems a little shaken up. She should be here any minute. You’ll see for yourself.” I take a deep breath, forcing Atlas to calm down. Skylar looks up at me now, hurt in her eyes. “Why are you getting so worked up about this, Perseus?”
I blanch. How do I break it to her?
“Do you think she’s your mate?” She guesses. “A witch?”
I frown. “I’m sorry, Skylar. I know what you were hoping for, but Aria is my mate. Don’t say anything to her about it, though. I don’t think she has any idea.”
Someone clears their throat and we whip around to find Aria standing in the doorway, her arms crossed over her chest.
Skylar takes an awkward step away from me, walking towards Aria. She smiles a little bitterly at her. “I’ll see you tomorrow at 10 to help you with your closet—if you still want me to.”
Aria nods solemnly. “Of course… I’ll see you then.”
Skylar leaves us in awkward silence, Aria frowning at me.
I fight the urge, watching her stare stubbornly at me. Her jaw is locked and she seems angry, but I know that she heard what I just said.
“Where is Eloise?” She finally asks me quietly, avoiding my eyes.
“Aria—” I start, but she cuts me off.
“Look—I don’t want to get into this right now. My head hurts, and I just want to check on Ellie and get out of here.”
“Get away from me, you mean,” I correct her and she scowls at me.
“Get away from all of this, from everything. I left Georgia to get away from Halston, and now two alpha-male brothers think I’m their mate? No, I can’t deal with it. I just want to live a normal life with a normal love life—or no love life for all I care! I need to go home—”
I cut her off this time.
“Absolutely not,” I growl, angered at the thought of her leaving me. “I’ve waited for you, and whatever is going on with you and that guy is over. You are mine.”
Her demeanor visibly shifts as she glares at me. “I am not some wolf you can control, so don’t even try me. I belong to no one. Understand that, Alpha? And another thing—if I want to leave, I will. You think some ridiculous claim you have on me is going to hold me here?”
Her face is red, her eyebrows drawn, and her mouth set in an adorable pout. I think this little outburst has solidified why the Moon Goddess chose her for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a mate. My mother was very submissive to my father—she cooked and cleaned, and kept her opinions on pack business to herself, and that’s the way my father liked it. I think Aria is her opposite and I love everything about it.
I can’t help the proud smile that pulls at my lips. It confuses her—she expected me to fight. I take a step towards her, my hands gripping her hips and pulling her closer.
“First, don’t ever think that you aren’t mine,” I whisper into her ear, my grip on her tightening and she shivers. “This is the world of the wolves, witch, and you do belong to me. You will not leave. Second, Talon and this ex-fiancé have no claim to you.”
“You don’t even know Halston,” she argues.
“He hurt you,” I growl. “And I may not be what you expected, but we were literally made for each other. It really can’t get any better than that, can it?”
“I don’t believe in any of this nonsense about mates,” she hisses, eyes wide and panicked.
I cup her face in my hand, rubbing my thumb against her full bottom lip. “You feel it, don’t you?” I guess, looking into her awestruck eyes. “And it scares you.”
“I don’t want this,” she whispers, her words a knife to my heart, but I don’t give up.
“I’ll earn your love, Aria. I won’t have to force you to stay—you’ll want to… but for now I will require you to remain at the apartment.”
“I don’t have a choice?” She asks bleakly.
“We should check on your sister,” she tells me, changing the subject. The determination on her face worries me—I may need to keep an eye on her so she doesn’t try to run.
I lead her to the exam room in silence.
She can try to run from me, but she won’t get far.