Beloved

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I Can't Make You Love Me

Song - I Can’t Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt

I don’t want to snoop around but I’m so bored.

It’s been almost three hours, everything is set up and ready. I’m just sitting here with nothing to do.

I walk around the loft. It’s gorgeous and decorated well but there’s nothing personal. No items or trinkets that show that anyone actually lives here.

Not one picture or book...just...nothing.

I’m still not sure what to expect when the mysterious Leo finally shows up. She described a petulant child but he’s obviously not as young as I originally thought.

Maybe he’s turning eighteen?

I push open a door at the end of the hall, its got a beautiful grand piano surrounded by windows. The twinkling lights from the city below are illuminating the room. I sit at the piano and mindlessly allow my fingers to run across the keys, playing some random piece I memorized years ago.

A thud from outside of the room draws my attention.

I jump up and run out into the dark hallway. As soon as I step out I’m assaulted by all my senses. The smell, sweet but masculine, warm, like a memory.

Goosebumps form across my skin and my heart pounds in my chest.

Next comes the sounds. My stomach rolls, waves of nausea making me dizzy. I clutch the wall as I try to tune out the noises that are cracking my heart down the middle. Loud moans and rhythmic thumping. I can feel every thrust like a knife to the chest.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

I want to run, to scream, to crawl into a hole and never come out. Instead I stand frozen, clutching the wall and my aching chest.

A painful, heaving gasp leaves my chest and the thumping stops. My head clears long enough to spur my feet into action. I just need to make it through this hallway and down the stairs.

As I turn the corner to rush down the stairs I’m pinned against the wall, the hand choking at my throat sending warm, tingling waves through my body. He’s shirtless and his pants aren’t buttoned, a painful reminder of his activities from a moment ago.

His eyes flash from red to ocean blue. His chest is heaving and I can see his fangs between his slightly parted lips.

“Leo, what is it?” A whiney female voice calls from downstairs.

He doesn’t speak, he just stares at me, his hand still squeezing my throat painfully.

I see his eyes swirling, thinking. His full lips are just inches from mine, his breath fans out over my face.

I can smell the girl all over him, sickeningly sweet and floral.

For a moment his eyes soften, then, just as quickly they glow red, angry and full of hatred.

“Why the fuck are you in my house?” His voice is hoarse, loathing.

I can’t speak, he’s holding my neck so tightly that I’m afraid I’m going to have to fight him to get him to release me.

Tears well up in my eyes. He has to feel this, doesn’t he? His touch ignites fire in my blood. There is no way he doesn’t feel it.

“Why are you here?” He yells loudly before pushing away from me.

I instinctively bring my hands to my sore neck and slide down the wall to the ground.

“Your mother...” I whimper, “I’m supposed to paint you.”

His face twists in disgust.

“You expect me to believe that my mother brought a mangy fucking wolf into my apartment?”

“I-I...” a sob escapes my chest before my wolf takes over. She may be hurting but she has too much pride to be talked to like that.

My canines release and my eyes flash gold.

He steps back and pulls a phone from his pocket.

“Mother,” his voice is clipped, “why the fuck is there a werewolf in my house?”

I can hear her explaining to him and he laughs, a deep, angry, booming sound that echoes through the hallway.

“You thought it would be a good idea to bring a wolf here to paint me?”

I can hear her start to talk but he hangs up, angrily throwing his phone at the wall beside me.

This has to be a dream. He can’t be my mate. My heart clenches and I try to make myself strong, not to show the hurt.

I can’t describe the way I feel. It’s like an out of body experience, like I’m detached from my body, loose, floating but simultaneously weighed down, like my legs are made of lead.

The hatred in his eyes makes me feel so small.

“Get the fuck out,” he growls.

“But... we’re... you’re my... don’t you feel it?” I sputter through sobs.

“We’re what? You’re nothing. Get the fuck out of my house,” he yells loudly making me flinch.

I pull myself off of the floor and push past him down the stairs.

He must not feel it. Something’s wrong, I’m broken. He can’t be my mate, he doesn’t feel it, he hates me.

When I get to the bottom of the stairs there is a vampire girl sitting on the sofa, her makeup is smudged and her tiny dress is twisted around her body.

She makes a face and stands, “Leo, what the fuck is going on?”

“My mom wants me to get my twenty-first birthday portrait,” he explains to her calmly.

“Aww, Leo! You have to do it, it’s tradition!”

“I’m not sitting with this thing for hours for a fucking archaic tradition.”

“Leo,” she whines, “you should...”

“You know what, you can get the fuck out too, April,” he growls at her.

I rip the door open and stumble out toward the elevator. I push the button over and over again. ‘April’ comes storming out of the apartment.

“Go fuck yourself, Leo. You asshole!”

She huffs as she stands next to me waiting for the elevator, her arms crossed angrily over her chest.

When we step into the elevator I try not to breathe. His scent is all over her.

Silent tears stream down my face. Luckily this girl it’s paying any attention to me.

“I swear, this is the last time, Cedric!” She whines to him, “he can’t keep treating me like this and expecting me to just come over once he gets bored!”

Is this elevator taking me to hell? Why is this taking so long?

As soon as the door opens I push past them and sprint until I reach my car. I climb in but my hands are shaking too hard to drive. I lay my face against the steering wheel and weep until my chest burns and my eyes are swollen.

“Goddess,” I cry out to her, “why is this happening to me?”

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