“Are you going to get that?”
His phone was ringing off the hook, but Marcus couldn’t give a care in the world. He was still on top of me as I clung onto his shoulders.
“NO.” His lips planted on mine once again, giving me new life.
I wanted Marcus, I wanted him so badly, but his phone was annoying the hell out of me.
“Fuck this.” He grabbed his phone and whipped it to the wall, smashing it to tiny pieces.
“Hopefully, it wasn’t an emergency?” I playfully smirked as I pulled his head into mine.
“It can wait.” He kissed me softly, “You don’t understand how badly I want this.” Marcus tore the buttons from his shirt and flung it to the floor.
My eyes widened at sight of him. I mean, I’ve seen him before, but under these circumstances it was totally different. His tattooed body and chiseled pectorals that poked out stirred up more emotions that I couldn’t contain.
I ran my hand across his chest, down towards his abdomen, feeling his muscles and his soft sun-kissed skin. It was heaven.
“You’re touch Hunter.” He kissed me softly, “Is out of this world.”
Suddenly, there was an unfamiliar voice coming from the front foyer.
His body tensed up as he heard his name. His eyes blackened and his teeth barred out of his mouth.
“STAY HERE.” He whispered harshly into my ear and got off the bed.
What in the hell was going on? How did someone get in his apartment? He seemed like he knew who the person was, but how could they just come in unannounced like this?
“Here,” He placed one of his t-shirt’s in my hand, “I’LL BE BACK.”
I nodded in my confused state, but I didn’t want to question him because he seemed so put off on the intrusion. I was curious, but at the same time I was scared.
He left in quick pace, still shirtless with just his pants. I could see the steam radiating off his face. I was frustrated myself because I wanted him; I wanted to finish what we started.
I changed into the black t-shirt he gave me. It was comfy as hell and had his scent ingrained in the cotton fabric. It gave me a sense of peace as I inhaled the aromas.
It was oddly quiet, and minutes rolled by. I laid in his bed, resting my head, thinking about the turn of events. I was ready to show him, I was ready to let loose, then this happened. Was this a sign? What was so damn important that he had to put me off? It wasn’t like him. I knew how he felt, and I knew he wanted this just as bad as me.
Something must be wrong.
I needed to know. I wanted to see what was holding him back so long.
I tiptoed towards the door leading to the living room. The light illuminated underneath the crack of the door. I could hear Marcus and the same voice from before. It was a man, they were speaking subtly, but it was just enough for me to eavesdrop on their conversation.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” The man said.
“Why the fuck do you care?” I heard Marcus, he was speaking quietly, but I could hear agitation in his voice.
“It’s a lot of money on a fighter, I just wanted to make sure you knew what you were doing.”
“Who the fuck thinks you can just come to my place in the middle of the night and question me? Why after all this time you want to rekindle what little relationship we have? Why after all this time when…-”
“When we killed him?”
Marcus sighed heavily, “Tell me why you are here, is it because of our arrangement?”
“Well, no, I think what we have set up is working out fantastic, couldn’t be better, business is booming, and I couldn’t be happier. But...-”
I creaked open the door to get a better look. I was hoping I was quiet enough, but hell, I was too curious to even care at this point.
“What do you mean their alive? How do you know?”
“A few sources, I got eyes and ears everywhere.”
“Typical Xanos, what the hell does it matter now? Alpha Kane is dead along with everything else. James made sure of it.”
My heart skipped a beat, was that, THE Alpha Xanos? Everyone in Elysium knew who Xanos was. He was the most powerful Alpha in the city.
“Apparently not, James was actually the one who brought it to my attention.”
“Fuck James.” Marcus growled.
“He did us a favor, don’t you remember?”
“A favor I didn’t agree with.”
“If he didn’t do that, you wouldn’t be standing in the position you are in today.”
Marcus paused, like Xanos was telling him the truth, and it was a truth that I feared. James had more influence and leverage in his business then I thought.
“Doesn’t mean I can’t kill him.”
I finally got a better view of Xanos. He was sitting on the couch across from Marcus. He looked so familiar and had similarities to Marcus. It was really strange.
He wore a black suit; his dark hair had faded grey that shadowed lightly on the sides of his head, along with a lightly trimmed beard.
“To tell you the truth brother,” I covered my mouth when I heard him say brother, “Alpha James made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. And if you killed him now, I’m afraid I will have to do business elsewhere.”
“I don’t need to do business with you.”
“Is that why Alpha Hiro is coming tomorrow?”
“Is this why you’re really here? Because Alpha Hiro is in town?”
“Maybe… Well to be frank, that’s a little part of it… You see Marcus, he’s getting old, and it’s a perfect time to ease him into retirement.”
“Fuck you, Alpha Hiro has always been a trusted business partner, I wouldn’t betray him like that.”
“If its not us then its going to be someone else. That I can ensure… So, I need your help if we are to take his share of the city. He’s here for time being, but when he goes back to Japan our opportunity slips out the window.”
I couldn’t help to gasp at the revelation. Alpha Xanos and Marcus were brothers, and to top it all off, they did business with Alpha James.
“My, my," Xanos peered in my direction and I froze, "you have company Marcus?”
Fuck it, I had to reveal myself. I’m not hiding from this.
I opened the door, and yes, I was only wearing his shirt, but I could care less at this moment. I needed to know who Xanos was to Marcus. He was his brother, but what else was I missing from this picture?
Marcus turned his head and looked at me with grimacing eyes. I could tell he didn’t want me to be here. I was in the crossfire of his brother, but I wasn’t going to let Xanos intimidate me.
“I didn’t know YOU had company Marcus.” I crossed my arms as I stood in the doorway.
Xanos roared in laughter, “Marcus how long were you going to withhold this information from me?" Xanos stood up from where he was sitting, prompting Marcus to do the same, "She is something else. Where in gods name did you acquire this beautiful specimen?” His eyes trailed down to my exposed legs poking through the over sized shirt. “She’s beautiful, and with striking resemblance.” He deviously smiled, “What’s your name?”
I retracted my eyes to Marcus who was looking like he wanted to destroy this entire building.
“Go back, NOW!” He gritted through his teeth.
I held my hand to my chest. I didn’t realize I would get this sort of reaction. Was Marcus mad at me?
I stepped back quickly into his room, too scared to come out. I’ve never seen Marcus look at me like that. I felt defeated, but at the same time I had so many questions. Why wouldn’t he tell me he was Alpha Xanos’s brother? It explained a lot, but now I was worried what they were talking about.
Were they talking about the fight? How could I be so stupid to think Marcus wouldn't be in attendance? Most Alpha’s were. Thankfully, no one knew my identity, and Coach Andrew told me to use an alias name, but how could I hide my face on the big day? Should I still fight? How could I back out now? I was too scared to rely on a man to take care of me financially, and I had an obligation to take care of my brother and get us the money we needed. On top of that, I needed to pay Sam back.
I had to do it. I couldn’t back down.
I will never back down.
Not for a man.
Not for an Alpha.
Not for ANYONE.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, but I was going to make it work one way or another.
“Hunter?” Suddenly, Marcus appeared through the door as I sat on his bed.
“Yea.” I held my knees to my chest as I looked at him, standing by the doorway with a look of defeat.
“I’m sorry, he’s gone now.”
“You didn’t tell me Alpha Xanos was your brother.”
“I haven’t spoken to him in a long time Hunter, you must understand. I’m only protecting you.”
“It would be nice to know that you were brothers with the most powerful Alpha in Elysium city.”
“There is much you still do not know… I didn’t want to surprise you with all this information at once. I’m a fool for withholding it from you.”
He sat on the bed next to me, hesitant to come closer. I was disappointed, but at the same time, I could understand why he didn’t tell me. There was still a lot I didn’t tell him about my life, so I guess you can call it even.
“You do more business with Alpha James then I thought.”
“Alpha James? Why does that matter?”
Shit, should I have said anything about that? As far as Marcus knows, Alpha James just tried dancing with me that night at the rogue, nothing more. How could I tell him now? It seemed like he was deeply involved with Xanos and James.
Then the thought struck my mind, would I fuck up Marcus’s business if I told him about my past with James? But then, why should that matter, James DESERVED TO DIE, and some day, I will figure out how to end him myself.
Maybe I wouldn’t need Marcus’s help.
“Nothing, just curious… Look, I’m sorry for-” Marcus cut me off and placed his hand on my leg.
I looked up at him as he sat beside me.
“NO Hunter, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for dragging you into this, I wasn’t expecting to see my brother tonight. It’s been years since we spoke face to face. I would never let any harm come your way.” He placed his hand on my shoulders and looked me straight in the eyes, “But understand this, HE’S DANGEROUS, so you need to keep your distance. He has his ways about him that even I cannot control. When he’s sees something he likes, he will try at nothing to get what he wants.”
I placed my hand on his and held it tightly.
“I understand Marcus. It’s just…” I sighed heavily. I wasn’t sure what the hell to say anymore. I couldn’t keep up with the skeletons in my closet, let alone Marcus’s closet.
“Hunter, our time together, although it’s been brief, it’s felt like a lifetime. I know we are still getting to know each other, but I know what I want. I worry everyday about your safety, and it scares the hell out of me when I’m not around you. Please, move in with me.”
I gasped, “What? Move in with you?!”
“Our pull, our sparks,” He pulled strand a hair from my face and placed it behind my ear, “I’ve said it before, we have a mating pull, I’m not sure how its possible, but you need to move in with me. I need to protect you. I can take care of you”
I was shell shocked. My mouth hung open as I looked to the floor. A whole tidal wave of guilt poured over me. The lies, my brother, the money I stole, the wreck-less sport I was doing, for what?
I inhaled deeply and looked into his eyes, “I can’t abandon my brother.” It pained me to say it, but it was the truth.
I wasn’t sure what Marcus was doing to my mind, but I was thinking differently now. I was urged to take his offer, but how can I up and leave everything behind on a whim? It scared the hell out of me.
This was too surreal. I haven’t known Marcus long and now he was asking me to move uptown with him in a top floor penthouse?! What if something went wrong and we broke up?
“I know what I said must be crazy, but once I have found my mate there is no turning back. It’s a lifetime bond, it’s a crazy pull that I can’t shake away. I’m sure the feeling will grow over time for you, so I need you to think about it. Eventually, you will need to come here. You will have an overbearing urge that will take hold of your mind until you can’t handle it anymore. It’s how we mate. It's a physical and mental hold on our body that we cannot control.”
I was still speechless. I was having a surge of flashbacks coming in my mind; my dead mother, my drug addicted brother, my abusive foster parents, Alpha James, countless abandonments that were too high to count.
My throat tightened and I gripped his hand tighter. I felt like I was trapped in a corner. I was overwhelmed. How could I decide what to do now? I was so scared, but at the same time, I wanted it.
“Don’t cry,” Marcus wiped the tears from my cheeks as he pulled me into his body.
The heat radiating from his body was so warm and cozy, like being wrapped in a quilted blanket on a cold night. It gave peace in my mind being so close to him.
I wanted that life; I wanted to be his mate, I wanted to live without worrying about when my next meal would be... but I knew that’s not how life worked.
It was never that simple.
In the back of my mind, I was at a constant war. I felt like I didn’t deserve this, and I wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was from a lifetime of constant disappointments.
“You don’t need to answer me now, but I just wanted to tell you how I felt and how things will progress if you agree.” He tightened his grip around me, “I have many enemies Hunter, and when they find that you are my mate, I will need to protect you.” He pecked my cheek, “I’m sorry, I didn’t want to tell you this, it kills me inside, but it’s the truth. And…-” He sighed heavily, “I’m scared my brother feels the same pull I do. The way he looked at you tonight… scared the hell out of me.”
“Are you serious?” I gasped.
How could Alpha Xanos have eyes for me?
If someone told me a month ago that the two most powerful Alpha’s in Elysium had a mating pull on me, I think I would die of laughter.
“I told you, this is our way. It’s imbedded in our DNA. He shares the same blood as me.”
I never needed saving; I never needed the protection. It was always Troy and I. Maybe I was crying because I didn’t want to abandon my brother, or deep down, I felt like I couldn’t leave him, not after he told me he killed our step father. He needed to heal with me, I couldn’t leave him now just after his recovery. He needed my support.
Warm tears dripped down my cheek. I kept envisioning Troy if he found out I was moving out. He would be devastated.
“You’re not giving me much of a choice. This is insane. MY BROTHER, how could I leave him? He needs me.” I planted my face in Marcus’s chest as he softly ran his hand through my hair.
“Come, lay down.” He placed me on the bed as he spooned me from behind, gripping me tightly as I wept.
“I never realized life could progress this fast. My whole life has been a train wreck, and now I’m at a crossroads. I don’t know what to do. I’ve always been independent, I’ve always supported myself, and now that I have you in my life… its fucking scary to imagine relying on someone else. I’m sorry Marcus, but it’s true and I want this to work so bad, but I need time to think. I need to speak to my brother. I need TIME.” Marcus swept the hair from my face as he kept his embrace around me. He was so warm, and it felt so damn nice, but inside my head was spinning. All the lies, the fight, my brother, all bubbling up and I was so fucking scared. Add Alpha Xanos in the mix and you got a one-way ticket to crazy town.
“It’s ok, take your time. I just wanted you to know. You deserve to know the truth.”
I felt so vulnerable with Marcus, I never cried in front of anyone except my brother. I always tried to keep a strong face, and now, I was an emotional wreck.
I closed my eyes and focused on Marcus’s breathing. It was heavy and calm, like a white noise to sooth my sporadic mind. I wanted to sleep this off. There was so much that happened in the last 24 hours that I felt like I was completely shutting down from reality.
Marcus made it easy for me to sleep when I was close to him.
My eyes started flickering, and my once tense muscles began to calm as they basked in his arms. I felt his soft lips touch the side of my face before he whispered in my ear, “I love you Hunter.”