A Long Night
I stare at my reflection in the mirror, taking in my thick eyebrows and full lips. I’m wearing a thin gray ruffled tunic with black leggings, and my makeup is immaculate. I can’t help the nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m going on a date with Percy. This doesn’t even feel real. I never thought that I’d get over Halston but whatever this mate bond is makes me feel like I could have been wrong about that.
Maybe I don’t have to be in pain forever.
I can feel the smugness exuding from Rowena. She really thinks that she deserves a pat on the back… and maybe she does. She’s the one who put me in my place about always running from my problems. I’ve been so blind to the way I’ve run from things that I haven’t realized I’ve been causing myself unnecessary trouble.
I need to figure things out with Percy. I need to see my mom and just talk about the things that I’ve discovered. I need to let Halston off the hook—I need to forgive him so that I can finally move on.
There’s a knock on my front door and I jump up, bouncing excitedly. Calm down. I tell myself. One minute I’m fighting this tooth and nail, and now I’m ready to pounce. I leave the bedroom and race down the hall, slinging the door open.
“You’re early,” I say, only to find Talon on the other side. “Oh. Sorry, I thought you were—“
“Percy,” he finishes for me. “May I come in?”
I nod, unsure. “What’s going on Talon?”
He suddenly takes my hands in his and his pleading eyes look into mine. “Do you really not feel this?” He asks me. “I’ve felt this connection with you from the very beginning, and I just don’t understand how I can be feeling this way about my brother’s supposed mate.”
I tug my hands gently away. “I’m sorry, Talon. You’re really great, and I’m kind of new at all of this mate stuff, but I feel nothing with you like I do with Percy.”
“You’ve never felt anything? Not even before you ever met Perseus?”
I smile awkwardly. “I mean, I noticed you were handsome, but that’s the extent of it.”
“You didn’t find yourself thinking about me after I took Waylon home? You were never curious?”
“Of course I was, I wondered about him all the time.”
“Him? Or me?” He snaps.
“What is this?!” Percy’s voice thunders from behind me. I didn’t even hear him come in the door. “Him or me? Is that seriously what you’re doing, Tal? Trying to make her choose between us?”
“Percy,” I hear myself say, Rowena taking control to try and calm our mate.
He looks at me for a split second, fire in his eyes, before he reaches for me and pulls me to him. “I’m sorry, Talon. From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry that we’re hurting you, but she’s my mate. I can’t just push her aside to avoid stepping on your toes.”
“And what of my feelings, Perseus?” Talon demands. “I feel something for her, too. From the very beginning I’ve felt it. She’s supposed to be my second chance, so what are you doing?”
“I’ve done nothing on purpose,” Percy tells him. “But I wasn’t going to give up pursuing her because it hurt your feelings. I think you’re just confused. She is not your mate.”
“I AM NOT CONFUSED!” Talon snarls, and Percy pushes me behind him ever so slightly.
“We’re not doing this,” Percy says calmly. “We won’t fight over this, Tal. You’ve talked to Aria. What did she say?”
“I think she’s the one that’s confused!” He spits back, looking at me, red faced.
*Something is wrong, Aria. I need you to run.* I hear Percy’s voice in my head.
My head snaps up to him, panicked and confused.
“If I can’t have her, no one can!” Talon screams, lunging for Percy.
I do as Percy asked, taking off out the front door, the last thing I see is a flash of black and brown fur as they shift. My heart is pounding in my chest, and I barely recognize that I’ve reached the front of the Pack house. A handful of guards rush out the door as I’m coming up the steps, one stopping in front on me.
“Come,” he says sternly. “The Alpha has asked me to keep you here until everything is safe.”
I nod and follow him inside.
The look on Talon’s face haunts my memory. He was so angry. His eyes were almost crazed. The way Percy said that something wasn’t right is getting to me too. What did he mean by that? Something isn’t right with Talon? Was there more going on than just jealousy?
The guard leads me to a door, opening it and motioning for me to go inside. The door shuts behind me, the guard on the other side, and I take a look around, coming to the realization that this must be Percy’s bedroom. I look around at the large space, but it’s mostly empty aside from the large bed in the middle and a dresser. The walls are gray, the carpet beneath my feet black. I walk over to his bed and take a seat, running my hand over the silky black sheets. I lean back against the pillows and sigh. This could be a long night.
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