I followed the little blond into another room. She waited for me to fully enter before she closed the door behind me.
“I’m sorry if I came across as disrespectful” she said, sighing. I looked at her, waiting for her to continue. “I assume you suspect that Jade is your destined mate, and I do too.” I raised an eyebrow at her statement. “She told me what happened last night and this morning” She continued, glancing at me to gage my reaction.
“Your assumption is correct.” I replied, folding my arms over my chest.
“Good. As you probably already know she is an Omega, right?.”
“Yes, and?” I tilted my head, starting to get annoyed.
She sighed heavily. “I want her to have the best in life, and for that to happen, the two of you need to have a good start.” She said as she started walking back and forth in front of me, waving her hands. “I will not tell you her story, I'll leave that to her, for when she is ready to share it with you.” she said, stopping in front of me.
“She will not look you in the eyes or willingly let you touch her, until she feels safe with you.” she said sternly.
I ran a hand though my hair. “We wont know for sure until she does.” I replied, furrowing my eyebrows.
“Jade has had a hard life. She has not been treated well by others. That’s all I’ll tell you about it.” She said and crossed her arms over her chest. “Show her kindness and treat her well. Make her feel safe, protected and loved. She’ll return the favor a million times over. Do not, I repeat, do NOT push her on this! Listen to my advise, and the two of you will be gawking at each other in no time.” she continued, as her serious face turned in to a cheeky grin.
“It took me a week to win her trust, but I’m not as scary as the bloody alpha, might take you a little longer” she huffed. “And whatever you do, do not lose your temper with her. Especially before she trusts you.” she added as she opened the door.
The fresh air eased my nerves and calmed my galloping mind. I walked back inside the pack house and saw Galina, Gregory and Luke standing in the hall, talking. I walked up to them and Galina immediately hugged me as soon as I was within her reach.
“You ready babe?” she asked as she released me from the hug and squeezed my hands.
“I think so” I replied slyly.
She hugged me again and whispered in my ear. “He’s not so bad. He might actually surprise you.” She patted my shoulder and gently pushed me through the door before closing it behind me.
I kept my head low as I walked over to my chair and sat down.
“Are you OK?” he asked, tilting his head. I nodded and raised my eyes to my hands, which was now placed on the table in front of me.
“Good, I’m glad to hear that” he said.
There was an easy silence. I wouldn’t say I was comfortable, but I felt a lot calmer then before.
“I need you to know that I'm not in any way upset about you running last night.” he said, leaning back and scratching his neck.
“It was dark, I was drunk and it was probably a good thing that we didn’t meet like that” he leaned forward again and rested his elbows on his knees.
I raised my eyes a little and looked at his hands. They were enormous and looked rough. The veins bulged and twisted from the back of his hands and up his arms. I looked down to his hands again, wondering if they only brought pain and suffering, like the stories about him said, or if they also were capable of tenderness.
“Will you tell me something about yourself?” he asked as softly as his deep, velvety voice could manage.
“Wh-what would you like to know?” I replied, my voice barely above a whisper.
“Everything!” he breathed. I could hear the smile on his face. It was sincere and hopeful.
“I don’t know what to say” I said, a little louder this time. I turned my head to the side and studied the pattern on the floor.
“How about I start then?” he asked. I nodded shyly. “Let’s see, I’m from the Red River pack up north, 23 years old, my favorite thing to do has to be going for a run in wolf form. Oh, and I have a younger brother named Dane, but I call him Ass hat."
A short laugh burst out of me before my hand snapped up to cover my mouth. He was beaming now and it made it impossible not to respond in kind.
“Um, I’m from here, obviously, I’m 21 and I’m an only child.” I said quietly. I was blushing at this point, so I tilted my head down again. He let out a low groan.
“Don’t! I mean.. Please don’t look down.” he said, clearly trying to be gentle.
The sweetness in his voice made me pause. I hadn't expected that. I tilted my head back up a tad and I settled my eyes on his lips. He had a full beard, short and well groomed. His lips were pale pink and delightfully formed. They looked so soft, and my mind drifted while thinking about pressing them to mine. I might have been staring to long, because he licked them and smiled. I quickly turned away.
“It's OK if you want to look at me, Jade” he said in an earnest, reassuring tone. I blushed harder.
Suddenly the door opened and Luke stuck his head in.
“That’s enough” he said harshly.
“NO!!!” Alaric bellowed. I jumped back in my chair.
Alaric’s head snapped back to me. His eyes panicked. “I’m sorry, Jade! Please! I didn’t mean to...” he hung his head, looking completely defeated.
Galina waved at me to come out of the room. I stood up and walked towards her. Just as I passed him, I let my fingers glide over his arm. I heard his breath hitch at the contact.
Galina took my hand and pulled me out the door, while I turned to look at him.
He looked dazed, staring at my chair. Just as I turned my head back, he whipped around towards me, and just missed my gaze.
It was going so well. And then Luke just had to interrupt, and I just had to snap at him. She’d looked so terrified, and just after Galina had told me not to loose my temper around her. I could kick myself.
I was sure that my fuck up had scared her away, but that fact that she touched my arm as she left, must have been a sign that all wasn’t lost. I was not about to give up.
“Marcelo!” I shouted.
“Yeah?” he came strolling into the room.
“I need to see her again.” I grunted, furrowing my brows.
“Maybe you should give her a little time to digest this first encounter. Why don’t we plan something for tomorrow?” He suggested as he put his hand on my shoulder.
“I can’t wait that long.” I crossed my arms.
“I know dude. I can’t even begin to imagine what this is like.” he replied, giving my shoulder a squeeze. “Until you mark each other, the pull is intense and distance can even be painful. Even I know that, and I haven’t found my mate yet.” he said as he let go of my shoulder and rubbed his chin.
“Why don’t you ask to see her tomorrow. Something simple and non-intimidating, like coffee on the terrace maybe? We can even reserve the whole terrace so you’ll have privacy.” he said, beaming.
“That’s a good plan. But how am I supposed to stay away from her until then?” I grumbled.
He thought for a minute, then looked at me with a sly grin. “Out of sight, out of mind.” he replied smugly.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I snapped at him.
“Why don’t you stay close, but out of range, so she can’t see or sense you? That way the pull won’t be as painful.” he replied.
“Fine. Set it up, and find out where she is” I replied. He nodded and strolled off.
We were stood outside the pack house, Galina, Gregory, Luke, and I.
“Well this changes things” Luke stated, glancing at me smugly.
“What did you think this was, Luke?” Galina asked with an eyebrow raised.
“I thought this was about her disrespecting him last night. He didn’t mention that they might be mates.” he replied, huffing. “Well, at least we don’t have to worry about him turning on us now.” Luke added.
I looked questioningly between them and then at Galina. “What does that mean?” Galina asked.
“Well, one of ours, mated to their Alpha, kinda boosts our standing with the Red River pack. If this actually was about disobedience and disrespect, it could have been a strain on the already fragile relationship we have with them.” Luke replied with a smirk.
“It’s so like you to make this about politics!” Galina spat at him. “Jade doesn’t need this kind of pressure. This is about them, not you! After what she has endured under your protection, and under your roof none the less, you will let her do this at her own pace, without interfering!” she growled, her face reddening.
His head slowly turned towards her with a apologetic look. “You’re right” he sighed. “Take all the time you need Jade, I won’t interfere.” he said and walked back inside.
Gregory kissed his mate on the cheek and jogged after Luke.
Galina took my arm and we started walking back to her house.
“Miss!” someone called from behind us. We both turned around. Marcelo came jogging towards us.
“Miss, Jade! Alaric would like to invite you to join him on the terrace for coffee tomorrow.” he said with a kind, hopeful smile.
I stood frozen, trying make words come out of my mouth.
“She would love to, wouldn’t you Jade.” Galina said, nudging me.
“Yes.” I stammered, smiling shyly.
“Wonderful!” he beamed.
“He’ll be so happy! Oh, by the way, it’s totally chill so don’t stress. Come by around eleven” he winked, and ran back inside.
Galina grabbed my hands and squealed. “Are you as excited as I am?” she was smiling from ear to ear.
I looked at her with a big, goofy smile of my own and nodded. My heart did a somersault and I felt a blush creep up my neck. Galina pulled me back around and dragged me towards her house.
I’d never felt so intrigued and terrified at the same time. He was so careful and considerate towards me, but so angry and authoritarian towards others. Which part was the real him? There was only one way to find out, I had to get to know him better.
As she pulled me down the road, I turned my head to look back at the pack house. I felt like I forgot something back there.
Like I left something important behind…