Chapter 7 - Fresh Air
His fingers traced my cheek, slowly swirling over my face working their way down from my brow and caressing my lips ever so closely. His touch was so soothing, so relaxing – like being wrapped in velvet on a cool Spring evening, I felt like I could melt in his touch, drown in this feeling.
The nail on his thumb caught my jaw and he lifted my chin up to face him, how I had dreamed on these eyes for so many nights, how I’d missed falling asleep in his embrace. Shadows danced across his face, his cheek bones highlighted, his jawline shaper than ever. I was lost swimming in his eyes, malleable to his touch – I didn’t want to admit it, but in this moment, he could do anything.
He released my chin and ran his hands down my arms, flowing onto my waist and pulling my body closer to his, not quite touching. He brought his face closer to mine and leaned his forehead against my own, before pulling me into an embrace, his chest rising as he inhaled the scent of my hair.
Every movement, every touch was so smooth, so calculated. I felt his fingers run down my neck as his lips lingered near my own, his breath fanning softly against my face. His scent intoxicated me, for him time seemed to stop.
My eyes snapped open as the sound of my alarm filled my ears, the smooth and chaotic music warmed space around me and I stared at the white ceiling, light fluttered into the room through the cracks in the thick curtains. I turned the alarm off and stat up in bed, leaning against the wooden headboard and stared at the dark curtains that blocked out the early morning light, golden oranges and pinks, streaking across the ceiling and warming the space.
I wasn’t sure how much time I spent looking at the dark curtains, but the door cracked open Jamie stepped across the threshold leaning against the door and crossing his arms, “you okay?” he asked.
“Yeah, I was just getting up,” I said with a smile and snapping out of my mind.
“Just getting up?” Jamie smirked.
“Yeah,” I said, laughing at my own words.
“Come on, Grace’s made coffee, have a cup before training,” he said, gesturing out of the room with his head, before leaving and disappearing into the hallway.
After changing and washing my face I joined them in the kitchen. Jamie had lived at the Pack House for most of his life, thus had never really spent much of the money he’d earned working as Beta. Because of this, when he met Grace, he built her a house as a big romantic gesture.
It was nothing fancy, but it was homey. Photos and artwork lined the walls, rugs lining the hallways and pot plants scattered in every corner of every room. The warmth that radiated from Grace was just as contagious as Jamie’s. They were a match made in heaven and being around them made my heart twang, mostly with guilt.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I spat the water out of my mouth as I emerged from under the depth of the raging waters. The waves and current slammed into my body with the force of a train, my toes curling to grip the smooth stones in the river as I battled against the current that mercilessly tried to whisk me away.
They were right in saying that there was more than just strength needed to fight natural forces, but as the rush of adrenaline coursed through my system, I stepped one foot after another. I had no strategy, I’d never done this before, never faced the raging waters of a savage river, of Savage River. But it did something for me, washed something away that I didn’t even know I carried.
I felt a warm hand grasp my arm and pull me blindly from the cold waters, his touch sending sparks and fire down my arm, and just as quickly as he held me, he realised me. “You past the finish line already,” Nate said, his voice rough as we stood on the riverbank panting. “You did good.”
My breath steamed as I breathed desperately for the air to be replaced in my lungs and looked down the river that I’d just emerged, most of those who were shoulder deep in the waters were still battling the current, merely splashing off in the distance and around the river bend.
“You, okay?” Nate asked, crouching down in front of me, positioning himself in front of my gaze.
“Yeah,” I panted, clearing the water from my brow to stop it dripping into my eyes. My eyes fixed on him. The sunlight kissed his body, his glow almost god-like, as a the water evaporated from his skin and skin tight pants. I couldn’t help but let me gaze wash over his chiselled chest and well-toned muscles, as a werewolf, I had every right to him, as a person – I wasn’t worthy of him.
“You weren’t wrong about the river,” I said finally, “she’s a bitch.”
“You didn’t seem to let it stop you,” he chuckled, “you beat Jamie after all, and were following close on my tail.”
I chuckled, “just image what I could do if I trained regularly,” I joked, bumping him with my shoulder as I clambered up the riverbank into the nearby clearing, peeling of one of the wet items of clothing and feeling his gaze lingering on my back.
I threw the top onto a tree branch and squeezes some of the water out of my sports bra and pants, flicking water off my skin. All in an attempt to subside the lingering feeling of his touch on my skin, where he had pulled me from the river to dry land, his handprint like a burn on my skin.
By the time we’d waited for the rest of those training to turn up, I’d melted in a warm pool of sunlight, letting my breathing return to normal and my clothes nearly dry. My eyes had drifted to a close and I let the muscles in my body relax, my spin decompress and my mind allow a moment of freedom. I loved my job, my life in the city, but nothing compared to the feeling of the fresh mountain breeze, the lush grass, and the stones of the mountains.
This, this was home.
“Are you ready?” Jamie asked, offering me his hand as he stood in front of me.
“Are you?” I quipped, giving him a wink and letting him heave me to my feet.
“You’ve never trained in the river, I’m sure I’ll have the advantage,” Jamie laughed.
“And you haven’t trained with me since after I shifted. Plus, last time I checked, I beat you in the river climb.”
Jamie’s face soured, his competitive side showing, “I’m not going to go easy on you.”
“Just how I like it.”
While the water looked still, the current was just as strong as anywhere else. It would have easily swept an unsuspecting victim away, who might have decided that this was a safe place to cross. My body tensed, each muscle strained to keep me upright as the water slammed into me relentlessly.
Jamie strolled into the river like it was nothing, the only signs of resistance being his loose shirt hugging to his body desperately as it flapped in the current. “Are you ready?” he asked, the water barely going halfway up his chest, whist the icy water lapped at my breasts.
I gave a nod and seconds after he moved with force, his right elbow flying towards my head and his foot sticking out to trip me. Whist he planned on letting the river sweep me off my feet, I planned on using the lack of gravity to my advantage. Grabbing his incoming elbow, I let the impact sweep me away, but not without taking Jamie off balance first. I pushed him under the water and found my footing again.
Jamie’s head appeared above the water a few moments later, but several feet downstream, a wicked grin plastered across his face and his blonde hair darkened and dripping wet.
Let me know what you guys think in the comments? How are you liking book two? What do you think is going to happen? I love hearing from you!