1) The Mating Hall
He wasted no time, striding across the room and bursting into the small bathroom filled with steam. His eyes focused on the woman in the tub as she began slowly rising up from under the water. The tub clearly too small for her thick figure and long legs.
Anthony stood in silence watching the water drip down her breasts and over the dark circles around her nipples. His staring was interrupted by her sudden outburst, “get out!” She screamed, and yanked hard on the shower curtain in an attempt to close it.
The curtain rod came crashing down, one end splashing into the water making a mess as the other end hit Elaina on the head. Anthony’s wolf whimpered insisting that they step in to help her. Anthony barely maintained control and stepped out of the bathroom closing the door behind him.
Anthony locked the door to the room and sat on the bed leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. He didn’t want a mate. He never wanted a mate. His wolf growled, ‘our mate’ at Anthony’s hesitation to accept the woman into their lives. Anthony sighed heavily when he heard the bathroom door open.
Elaina’s footsteps were fast and heavy when she rushed to the bed. She snatched her duffel bag from the bed beside Anthony. “I thought I told you to get out,” she demanded returning to the bathroom with her bag. She listened for sounds of him leaving while she pulled on her leggings and sports bra with a baggy sweatshirt.
She knew he would still be out there since she had heard only silence. Taking a slow breath to calm her racing pulse she opened the door to face him. She knew his wolf had taken over when he stood facing her. The hazel in his eyes from before had been replaced with a fierce gold color.
“No,” she stated plainly and crossed her arms across her chest.
“Mate,” he demanded in a strained voice. Elaina shook her head and moved to the other side of the bed, putting more distance between them.
“It’s time for you to leave, there is nothing for you here, you stupid wolf.” Whimpering Anthony’s wolf allowed him to regain control. Curled up in the back of his mind he reeled over his mate’s rejection.
“As much as I wish I could oblige, you and I both know it doesn’t work that way.” Anthony started, crossing his arms across his broad chest. She wasn’t sure what he meant by that but assumed that it was because of her looks.
“It could,” she paused, “nobody has to know we ever met.” Anthony gestured to the security camera in the corner.
“They already know, and it’s not like the old days. Rejection is forbidden, at the very least one of us would be put to death.” He ran his hands through his dark brown hair in frustration.
He met her blue eyes and could see her making calculations trying to find a solution. “We could say it was a mistake,” she urged taking a step back from the bed, clearly scrambling, “we tell them that when you got closer to me your wolf realized he was wrong.”
Anthony’s wolf let out a whine that turned into a growl. “Look,” Anthony let out a frustrated tone, “I didn’t want this either, tomorrow we can go home and both blame my Alpha for making me come to this damn thing!”
Elaina dropped her head, climbed onto the mattress over the covers and curled up with her back towards him in defeat. Her wolf made her presence known for the first time all evening letting out a soft whimper feeling Elaina’s pain and disappointment.
Anthony flicked off the light and climbed onto the other side of the bed. Laying on his back he stared at the ceiling, wondering how he managed to have found the one woman in this hall to not be throwing herself at whoever walked in the door. He wasn’t sure if she was going to make this easier or harder on him.