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Sunday Morning

Song - Sunday Morning by No Doubt

I stare at the clock as the hours change from three to four to five. Eventually, I pull myself out of bed and take a long, burning shower.

I don’t let my tears fall as I stand beneath the hot spray. Not today.

I get out of the shower and blow out my long, dark hair. Then, to further cement the fact that I will not be crying today, I line my eyes with liner and mascara.

I stare longingly at my baggy, comfy sweats that have been my outfit staple for several days and force myself into a little skater dress that actually fits me and makes me look like a person rather than an amorphous blob.

I go down to the dining room before anyone is there and make a single slice of plain toast.

Dressed - check

Eating - check

I drive to the studio on campus and pull a huge canvas onto an easel. I set my painting playlist and turn my headphones all the way up.

We have an assignment coming up that involves painting a planet upclose with intricate details. Several weeks ago I decided on Mars but for some reason, now that it’s time to put paint to canvas, I’m feeling drawn to Neptune.

I fill my pallet with colors and let the music take me away. After two hours my alarm beeps into my headphones, telling me to wrap it up for class.

I look up at my canvas and almost scream. What the fuck.

I’m not looking at Neptune. I’m staring into a pair of ocean eyes, a deep scowl set into the brows.

How did I not realize what I was doing? I take my paint brush and turn it stick side down in my clenched fist. I bring it down hard against the canvas and a small hole pokes through the center of one of the eyes. I repeat this until the whole canvas is filled with holes.

I drop my brush and look up from my rage induced destruction to see Professor Miller staring at me.

“Umm, I think it’s dead,” she says with raised brows.

“Sorry,” I feel my cheeks burn and I lift the canvas off the easel.

“Are you alright, Bea?”

“I will be, just some...personal stuff going on.”

“How’s the commission going?”

“Oh, it..hasn’t started yet, I won’t be painting for awhile.”

I obviously have to lie. What am I going to say?

She nods, understanding.

“I’ll see you in class later,” she says as I walk out the door.

The rest of the day feels long and slow, dragging on with no end in sight.

I sit by the window in Professor Miller’s class and watch birds landing in a tree outside. I wish I could fly away.

I can’t stop thinking about his eyes. It’s like they’ve been seared into my brain. They are beautiful in a way that haunts me. Extraordinary blue pools of cool water that held hatred and malice for me.

I let out a sigh as she dismisses us early for the day. I give her a weary smile and drag myself to my car.

As I reach for my door I’m grabbed from behind, spun quickly around and pressed up against my car. My skin tingles and I feel joy and burning hot rage.

“Get the fuck off me!” I thrash in his hold.

“I’m fucking dying without you,” his voice is hoarse and heavy with exhaustion.

I finally look up at his face. His eyes are bloodshot and rimmed with deep circles. His skin is pale and he looks gaunt, sickly.

“That’s your choice,” I whisper as I twist my wrist out of his hand.

His eyes burn into mine and I feel like I’m going to pass out.

“Leo, please, let me go.”

When his name leaves my lips he sucks in a sharp breath and pushes his face into my neck. His hands drop down my body and he rubs his fingers over my exposed thighs.

My body shudders against his. I didn’t realize how tall he was before, or that his dark hair has some lighter, caramel colored strands mixed in.

I want to push him away but I don’t and I hate myself for it.

Standing here in his arms is the best I’ve felt in so long. The sky is blue again, I can feel the sun on my skin. My body physically feels better. The dull ache that seemed to be constantly present has vanished.

“Let go,” I whisper weakly into his shoulder.

He pulls back to look at my face. I can’t help but to stare back. His blue eyes look stormy, like he’s lost and confused. I still see the anger and hatred there.

“Why do you hate me? Why would you rather suffer than be with me?” My voice shakes and I fight back tears.

I said I wasn’t going to cry today, dammit.

His expression hardens some and he purses his lips together.

“I hate wolves,” he says simply, like it’s not a big deal, “I can’t have a wolf as my beloved. I won’t accept it, I won’t accept you.”

“Then why are you here?”

“I told you, I’m dying without you. Our bodies need each other, so I’m here because we were forced together but I’m stronger than the bond. I will not yield to it again.”

The coldness of his voice makes me recoil from his arms.

“Leave, Leo. This is only making things worse. If you don’t want me then leave but don’t come back again. I won’t be used to make you feel better!”

He steps back for a moment, watching me, before he turns and walks away.

Each step he takes away from me, I feel a little less, like my heart has finally given up. He doesn’t want me, in fact, he hates me.

I climb into my car and drive back to the packlands. The physical ache settles back into my skin but I feel stronger. I don’t know if it’s because of the minutes I spent in his arms or my own will coming forward, moving me past this.

I know one thing for certain, prophecy or no, he will not be my mate.

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