A Generous Gift
I hadn’t slept so well is so long. I felt like a huge blanket was put over my body and it anchored me into a peaceful abyss. I didn’t want it to end, but I knew I was just dreaming.
Sometimes I didn’t want to wake up. I wanted to enjoy the moment in my mind, avoiding all the pent-up anxiety that haunted me daily. I would see her in my dreams, my mother, holding me tightly in her arms, telling me she loved me as she softly sung. I could hear her voice so vividly, I didn’t want it to end, but reality always set in one way or another.
I could hear another voice, but I was still stuck in my dream world.
The voice was getting louder, but I wanted to see my mother again.
I had to tell her I loved her, she was so damn close, her warm hand holding onto me, her blue eyes gazing into mine as her soft lips kissed my forehead.
“I love you mom.” I wasn’t sure if she could hear me, but I didn’t care. I wanted to tell her every time I saw her.
“I love you mom.” I repeated, hoping she would hear me, but her face remained the same as she held me. “I love you mom.”
My eyes widened as I slowly came back to reality.
Was I still dreaming?
“Hunter, are you ok?” I felt a large body beside me, it was warm, it was familiar, it was definitely my Wolfie.
“Marcus?” My vision was still slightly blurred, I was still so damn tired. I could see his silhouette laying next to me. On a regular day I probably would freak out if someone snuck into my apartment and crawled into bed with me, but he was an exception.
“You’re so beautiful when you’re sleeping.” His face lit up as I opened my eyes.
“Um- thanks? I want to say I’m surprised that you are here, but then I would be lying.”
“We wouldn’t want to keep any secrets now, do we?” His arm came around me, pulling me in so we could lay closer together.
“Of course.” How many lies was that now? I was losing count.
“Did Troy let you in?” I yawned as I snuggled up closer to him.
Marcus was wearing his usual get up, black t-shirt, dark washed denim jeans, looking sexy as hell, while I was my raggedy old t-shirt and shorts.
“If I told you that I broke the door handle, would you be upset?”
“It wouldn’t make a difference; this whole place is falling apart. What’s the point of having a lock if it can’t keep out my Wolfie?” I smirked as I grazed my hand on his forearm. The electrical sparks were getting more intense as the days rolled on, maybe it was the mating pull that he said I would start to feel.
Marcus leaned in for a kiss, planting his soft lips onto mine, “That’s why you need to leave.” His hand ran through my hair, softly pulling the strands away from my face.
“I thought you were giving me a week?” I stretched my arms out for a much-needed stretch and placed them back onto him. I could practically feel his heat radiating off his body. I wanted to feel him, I wanted us to continue where we left off, but now wasn’t the time.
“Those roses.” He looked over at the roses that were now sitting on my desk, “Those are from my brother. And this,” He placed the piece of paper into my hand, “Is his handwriting.”
I glanced down at the note, re-reading the love letter left my Xanos. It felt strange receiving it because I hardly knew him, but at the same time I couldn’t help to feel the flattery.
Did I feel a mate pull for him too?
My heart was for Marcus, not for Xanos, but I was scarred I was beginning to feel a pull towards Xanos without even knowing it.
“I don’t understand why he wants me… I’m just a human waitress. Nothing more.”
Marcus face dropped, his eyes looking down like they were holding back something of relevance. I could tell there was something on his mind, maybe there was something he wasn’t telling me?
“It doesn’t matter Hunter; he feels the mating pull to you. It will never go away, not until I mark you.”
My heart fluttered when he mentioned mark.
A mark in the werewolf world was serious. It was more than getting married; you couldn’t back out, you couldn’t get a divorce, it was a lifetime, and there was no reversing it. I knew this conversation would come up eventually, but I didn’t know it would be so soon.
“I wouldn’t pressure you Hunter, please. I just wanted to tell you the reality of the situation.”
“Don’t I have to mark you back though? Even if Xanos bit me,” Marcus let out a deep growl as I said the words.
His hand cupped under my chin and our eyes met, “Don’t EVER think that. I would NEVER allow it; I would burn this city before I let him touch you.”
“I’m just telling you how I see it. Just hear me out… So, if I get bit by a werewolf, don’t I have to bite them back?”
“You have much to learn, think about what you just said. There would be ways around that.”
I shivered thinking about the possibilities if that were to happen. If Xanos got to me. Would he really extort me and expect me to be his mate? Knowing how most werewolves were in this city, I knew what the answer was.
Most definitely YES.
“So,” I tapped my hands anxiously, “Now what?”
“Get changed, I want you and your brother to come for a drive.”
“Where are we going?” I looked out the tinted window as we passed crowds of people on the sidewalk. This was uptown, but the area was unfamiliar. It was close to Marcus’s building, just a few blocks away, but whenever I came here, it seemed like another world.
“Just a few more minutes, take a left here Christian,” Marcus spoke to a well-dressed man in the driver seat.
“You’re the famous Beta Christian, eh?” I smirked and leaned forward to get a better look at him. He was as I expected, typical businessman, to the point, polished and groomed. Older than Marcus by the looks of his grey stubble on his 5 O’clock shadow.
“I guess I am.” Christian’s blue eyes peered into the rear-view mirror, looking at me intently. He didn’t express much emotion, but I suppose he was studying me just as much as I was studying him.
“Why am I here?” Troy glanced out the window with a worried expression.
“I’ll tell you when we get there.” Marcus looked anxious to get out the vehicle as he peered down at his watch and phone.
I followed suit and looked down at my phone.
There was a text from Kendra.
Kendra: I called him, I fucking called him!! Call me when you can, I’m seeing him on Thursday!!!! I’m so freaking scared!!
I smiled as I read her message. I was so proud of her for taking such a huge step, all because I coincidentally ran into Alpha Hiro on the street. What were the chances of that?
I looked back up through the window to see we were slowing down. I’ll have to message Kendra later. I placed my phone back into my pocket.
“Here’s the keys.” Christian tossed the keys back to Marcus and he proceeded to get out the vehicle.
“What keys?” I questioned.
“Just come, both of you.” Marcus climbed out and placed his hand out for me to take.
As we got out of the Limo, we were met with a flurry of people walking on the busy sidewalk, but that’s not all the stuck out. We were stopped in front of a tall modern looking skyscraper, almost similarly to Marcus’s building where he lived.
“Are we uptown? What the hell are we doing here?” Troy looked in amusement at the tall skyscrapers surrounding each block.
“I’ll show you, come.” Marcus headed towards the glass door entrance.
Troy and I exchanged confused glances and shrugged our shoulders.
“How’s the new job Troy?” Marcus opened the door for us to enter.
The walls inside were made up of pure glass, and the white furniture in the front lobby complemented the roaring fire-place embedded into the wall.
“Working out well, Derek was kind of a hard ass, but its honest work.” Troy’s eyes wondered just like mine were, taking in our new surroundings.
“I used to do the same job when I was younger, it sucked, but it was how I got my foot through the door.”
“Excuse me? Did Marcus get you this job?” I curiously peered back at Troy and Marcus. Were they closer then I thought?
“Well,” Troy chuckled as he looked to Marcus who had the same expression,
“I just put in a good word,” Marcus gave Troy a wink, “Troy did the leg work finding the position.”
“You know how hard it is to get a job in Elysium city, even as a dishwasher?” Troy said.
“Yes,” I sighed heavily as flashbacks of Sam went through my mind, “I know all to well.”
“You, ok?” Marcus pressed the button to the elevator and turned back to face me.
“Yea, just a lot of my mind these days.” I looked to the floor, I felt so guilty, and it was only getting worse. I was a ticking time bomb, and I didn’t know when I was going to explode. I needed to tell him about Sam, but the question was, when?
Troy sternly looked to Marcus. “She told me everything Marcus, no need to subtleties.”
My heart was pounding outside my chest as I felt the blood rushing to my face. Oh god, what is he going to say? Is he about to tell Marcus about the fight?
“Oh, she did?” Marcus narrowed his eyes at me, and I practically was melting inside at this point. Did I look as guilty as I felt right now? Probably. I was a terrible liar, and I was surprised I got as far as I did with Marcus.
“Yea, you want her to move in with you.” Troy replied.
I sighed out loud, not realizing they were still looking at me. I felt like I avoided another bullet.
“You sure you’re alright?” Marcus placed his hand on my shoulder, and I looked up to him.
“Yea, just not feeling right.” I gave a small smile and looked to the floor. I had to tell him; this was getting out of hand. Every time I looked into his eyes my guilt got worse.
“Alpha Marcus, good to see you.” Suddenly, a man’s voice came behind us. I turned my head to see a large grizzly man wearing a black suit accompanied by several others in similar attire.
“Hi Xavier.” Marcus took my hand, “Troy, Hunter, this is Xavier, head of security for this building.”
“Oh, hi nice to meet you,” I shy fully put my hand up and gave a small awkward wave. This man looked scary as hell, but at least I knew he was part of Marcus’s pack.
“Hello.” Troy nodded.
“See you later Xavier,” Marcus gave an affirmative nod and turned towards the elevator door, “let’s go.”
The three of us walked in, but I kept my eyes on Xavier and the three other men that accompanied him. They walked with their hands near their waist, and I think it was safe to assume they were all carrying weapons underneath their jackets.
“Why is security so tight here? What is this place?” I blurted out as the door finally closed.
“I didn’t want to tell you until we got here.” Marcus tightly squeezed my hand as he looked at Troy. It felt good he wanted my brother to feel safe, because he knew my brother was my life. If anything happened to him it would be the end of me.
Troy crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows. He was just as curious as I was.
“I own this building, and I wanted to give Troy a place to live, call it a gift of good faith between us. And since my brother knows where you live, you’re not safe back at your old place. Especially Troy.”
My mouth opened, I was speechless, this couldn’t be real. Was I dreaming?
“Xanos wants me, not my brother.” I was still skeptical. Troy and I never received a gift in our lives, and now Marcus was gifting an apartment to my brother?
“Exactly, and what’s the easiest way to get to you?” Marcus looked to me with raised eyebrows.
I looked back to my brother and I knew there was no further discussion on the topic. I wanted to protect Troy, and knowing that he could be protected by Marcus was a bonus. I was going to bring up the conversation one day or another, but Marcus beat me to it. All the while, making me feel guiltier then ever before about the web of lies I was entangling myself in.
“Ah, here we are.” Marcus got out, but not into a hallway, it was directly to the apartment, or should I say penthouse?
Troy looked up to the elevator screen, “This says penthouse.”
My eyes widened as I stepped out, “Marcus, NO.”
“Come.” Marcus put his hand out once again, but I didn’t reach for it.
I was in shock.
He scratched the back of his head, “Is there a problem?”
“Yea, why are we really in the top floor penthouse?” Troy asked.
“This is your new place, you like it?” Marcus narrowed his gaze at Troy, and he exchanged the same look. I knew Troy better then anyone, he was just like me, he wasn’t going to accept this.
“This is too much. This is insane, I can’t accept this.” Troy said.
“I insist.” Marcus crossed his arms and kept his eyes on Troy. He wanted him to say yes, it would make it so much easier for this transition, but he was stubborn like me.
Troy crossed his arms and looked down at the black marble tiling on the floor of the front foyer, “You can insist all you want; I can’t take this. I mean, I know you, but I don’t KNOW you that well.”
We were at an impasse and I had no idea what to do.
I understood where Troy was coming from, but at the same time we were in in the scope of Xanos. It only made sense to be protected by Marcus’s pack.
“Give it a chance Troy.” I grabbed Marcus’s hand and left to the living room with him.
I cut Troy off, “If you don’t take it, I will.”
“Fine.” Troy muttered under his breath.
“This is beautiful.” I gazed out the large living room window, the penthouse obviously wasn’t as big as Marcus’s, but the views were spectacular. The interior was already filled with modern, sleek, and bold furniture. Black tufted leather couches surrounded a low-rise mahogany coffee table. I’m sure the cost of one of these couches alone was enough to pay 6 months rent back at our old place.
“It’s 4 bedrooms, I hope its enough room.” Marcus spoke to Troy as I continued looking out the window.
“Enough room? Seriously? I can’t accept this, I wouldn’t even imagine ever affording something a fraction of this size, let alone have this zip-code. I just can’t… I can’t.”
“You must.” Marcus replied.
“No.” Troy kept his eyes outside the window. I could see the gears turning in his head, I knew he wanted it, but accepting this as a gift was too much.
“I told your sister she can think about my offer for a week, but I’m afraid its too late, my brother knows where you live.”
“This is first I’m hearing of this.” Troy said.
“Well, now you know.”
“Marcus, can we have a moment?” I pulled on Marcus’s hand.
“Take all the time you need; I need to think...” Troy kept his gaze outside the window, peering down at the ant-like people walking below. He reminded me when I saw Marcus’s place for the first time. It was something I never thought I would get a chance to experience in my life, but here we were, in a sky-high penthouse in uptown Elysium.
“Come.” Marcus started walking towards one of the bedrooms.
As he closed the door, we stood face to face. It was getting so hard to contain myself being close to him. He was looking at me with the same damn eyes, but I had to remained focus on the situation.
“Are you serious Marcus? Giving my brother a penthouse? He can’t accept this. Maybe a small apartment, but a god damn penthouse uptown? Are you insane?”
“Anything else wouldn’t be safe enough.” Marcus stepped in closer to me, his eyes narrowing into mine. The hair on the back of my neck was standing up and my heart couldn’t beat any faster.
“You told me a week.”
“It doesn’t matter, Xanos is getting closer, can’t you feel it?” His voice dropped, and his eyes darkened. Did he know that I was feeling the mating pull towards his brother too? I only met Xanos once, how can this be?
“You can’t force him to live here.” I lightly whispered. I felt so distracted, and I was oddly warming up to seeing his dark side.
“He takes what he wants Hunter, don’t you understand that?” He pulled a strand of hair from my face behind my ear. My eyes trailed his hand the whole way, analyzing his every move.
“Doesn’t mean Troy will accept this.”
“Why don’t you move in for a few days, let him get used to it. Settle him in, talk to him, say anything to get him to stay. He needs to trust me- and you about everything. It’s only for his safety.”
“What about when he’s walking on the street? What about when he’s going to work? You can’t guarantee what will happen out there.”
“Who’s to say that I’m not already doing that? The place he works, you think its just a random job he got from a friend? I own that restaurant.”
“What? Are you serious? What else are you not telling me?”
“There’s nothing else to tell.”
“Are you or one of your goons following me?”
Marcus’s face lit up, and there was no need for further clarification. It was like I could read his mind.
He had someone following me, I just knew it.
I teasingly nudged into him, “You do so.”
“Whenever you touch me,” He stepped in close enough to feel his breath on my face, “I literally want to tear your clothes to shreds and take you. It’s only getting harder to contain my beast.” His breathing turned course and shallow, “as the days pass,” His eyes blackened, “The urge is getting worse.”
I looked into his eyes, and I wasn’t afraid, but I was turned on. I felt the warmth travel through my body like a rip tide.
“Who says that I’m not feeling the same way?” I aggressively pushed him down towards the bed that was only a few feet away.
He was caught off guard, but he seemed to like it.
“Where did that come from?” He sighed heavily as he leaned back on the bed.
“Just letting some pent-up aggression out.” I climbed on top of him. I didn’t know what came over me. Maybe it was the thrill of knowing my brother was in the other room, waiting for us to finish our conversation.
“I like this side of you.” He smiled as he placed his hands on my legs that mounted on top of his body.
I leaned in for a kiss as he began grinding himself below me. I could feel my core already warmed up, juicing out for him, wanting to be touched again.
As our lips made contact, I let out a small moan, hopefully not loud enough for my brother to overhear.
“I can’t get enough of your sweet taste my little Hunter.”
It was like everything that built up to this moment, all the lies I’ve kept hidden away, evaporating when we touched. Our electrical sparks brushing on our skin was like the cure to all the anxiety in my mind.
He was a drug to cover my imploding mind and I was hooked.
“As much as I want to continue, I don’t want to make a bad impression.” Suddenly, I was being flipped down onto my back. Marcus hovered overtop of me, his face still close to mine, looking at me with his piercing brown eyes that I could get lost in. “You will be mine soon Hunter, you will see what it means to be a mate.” He whispered softly in my ear.
“Why don’t things ever go my way?” I sighed.
“Trust me,” He planted his lips on mine, “It will.”