Nothing To Lose
I storm through the halls in a daze until I finally make it out into the cold night air. I no longer feel weak, I feel empowered. I don’t need a mate, nor do I want one. Halston and Percy can fuck off.
You’re making a mistake, Rowena whispers, and I can feel her pain. I know that she wants her mate, but this all feels like too much. I can’t handle all of this change. My heart aches the further I get from Percy as well, but I just need space. I need time to figure all of this out.
Go talk to him, Rowena urges. He was literally made to love you.
No, I argue. He was made to own me, and I am not property.
He’s just as much yours as you are his, Aria.
I make the long walk to the back of the pack house and enter the apartment.
Sleep on it.
Should I sleep on it? Should I waste any more time wondering about this?
Should you waste any more time avoiding things because they are painful? Maybe you aren’t as strong as you think.
I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me. I am strong.
I make my way to the bedroom and strip down to my underwear and fall into the big, comfortable bed. Rowena isn’t wrong. I am running from my problems. I run from my mother, from Halston, and now I’m running from Percy. I’d honestly run from Rowena, too, if I could.
Maybe I should sleep on it…
I sigh and run my hands through my hair, forcing myself out of bed. It makes sense that Aria would have some kind of control, but for her to command me to stay and for me to listen? That’s a lot of power. More than a normal Luna would have… and now I have no idea where she is.
Goddess, she’s stubborn.
And probably gone.
I force myself out of bed and head to the bathroom. I shower quickly, trying to come up with a plan to get her back but drawing a blank. I dress and head downstairs to the kitchen for my caffeine fix but find Rhett shaking his head, grunting at the empty cabinet.
“Don’t tell me,” I sigh.
“We’re out of coffee,” he grumbles.
“Of course we are.” I roll my eyes.
“You stayed at the pack house last night?” He asks. “I thought you’d be with the witch after what happened with Dimitri.”
I just walk away from him. “I’ll run and get coffee,” I call over my shoulder.
“Thank Goddess!” He calls back.
I slide my jacket on and head out, angrily jumping in my car and speeding down the road. When I park in front of Skylar’s I get out, slamming the door and making my way in. A subtle fragrance wafts over to me, and a low, possessive growl builds in my chest. There at the counter, chatting with Skylar, is my mate. We make eye contact and she doesn’t look away. I cross the room to her, grabbing her up and crushing her to my chest. She doesn’t exactly reciprocate, but she doesn’t pull away either.
I can feel the other guests watching us, but I don’t care. I pull away just enough to look at her face, keeping my arms firmly around her waist. She looks like she wants to say something, but she doesn’t.
If she won’t, I will.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t say anything. I was surprised, and a little confused, but we can figure this out. Just stay and give me a chance. Having a mate is not a bad thing,” I tell her, brushing my thumb against her lips.
“It feels like a bad thing,” she tells me softly and it breaks my heart.
“Do you think I like that I’ve been reduced to a groveling sap?” I laugh. “I never act like this—I don’t beg, but I’d do anything for you. I’ve tried to be understanding, and give you space, but I’d like for you to give me a real chance. Especially now that you know about…” I cut myself off and look around at our audience, not wanting to give away her secret just yet. “Not that you know what you know, maybe staying here could be the right choice.”
She gives me a hard look, her mouth in a thin straight line. “What would a real chance entail?”
I fight the smile forming on my lips. “A real chance would entail allowing me to take you on a date—show you what being with me could be like.”
She smiles then. “You think I’m missing out?”
“For sure,” I tell her confidently. She still looks unsure, though. “What do you have to lose?”