Well not so simple considering it was the prince but she wasn’t going to vanish into thin air if any other man danced with her.
“My prince,” Cole tore through the sea of people and smacked his fist against his chest before lowering his head. “I apologise for the intrusion. This is my best friend and his mate. His intentions are not disrespectful, I assure you. They’re newly met mates. This is their first dance together. I hope you understand.”
The prince bit the inside of his cheek as his magnificent eyes flicked from Cole to Ezra. The lack of humbleness in his posture and the venom in his blue eyes contradicted with Cole’s statement.
“If,” the prince commanded, “the lady confirms it’s out of her own free will, I will look past this blatant challenge.”
All eyes turned to her like lions to a deer. Her already squeezed heart tightened further.
This was her chance. If she revealed their reality to the prince he’d help her. He would enforce the werewolf law on her ex-mate. The opportunity dropped right into her lap. Her life will straighten out.
There were ten reasons to speak and only one not to. Ezra’s health. His life. If it was anyone else she could have suspected it was a lie but she had seen the torn depths of his madness and it chilled her bones. Moreover, a part of her writhed imagining him getting tortured.
It surprised her that silly part of her was still breathing.
Ezra was already gazing down at her with a calmness she was all too familiar with.
“Yes,” she managed to lie, “This is our first dance.”
The prince scrutinized both of them long and hard with a pinch of a doubt then gave in with a curt nod.
“Very well,” he said before he moved on to his royal team on the dance floor.
“Didn’t think you’d spare me.” Ezra wondered, his tone somewhat between confusion and amusement.
To squash the urge of smacking his head, she dropped hers on his chest and gritted her teeth forcefully. Ezra mistook the action. He pulled her closer and placed a warm kiss on her hairline.
“What the actual fuck, man?” Cole hissed under his breath.
Ezra threw an uninterested look his way. “I knew you can’t stay put. Clingy bastard.”
“Well, fuck you for being an asshole and fuck me for helping you.” Cole flipped him the bird, smacked him with a nasty snarl and march off.
Ezra scoffed before curling his arms around Lily’s waist and gripping his wrist to lock her in. The heat from her body was an ointment to the pain eating away at his nerves.
“Would you say that’s all I see in women if I tell you, you are absolutely breathtaking?”
Lily whipped her head up and glared thunder.
Ezra squared his shoulders incredulously. “Thank goddess, I didn’t.”
“Are you– oh wait, you are.” Lily poked his chest with her forefinger. “You are braindead!”
Ezra scrunched his nose and swooped her into his arms. Her tiny shriek was music to his ears.
“What are you doing?!” She whisper-yelled, noticing the subtle looks from people.
“Why, we’re going to dance.”
“I don’t want to!”
“Then why did you lie to the prince?”
He halted and peered down at her enraged eyes and pink tinted cheeks. “I love you.”
The randomness of the statement threw her off guard. The open mouth screwed shut as her venomous words swirled in a pool of gibberish.
Why is my heart aching?
She knew the reason behind that statement. His obsession. She knew he meant it only if she submitted to his wills.
That’s what hurt her dignity the most. She knew. Yet she failed convincing her heart to turn away from him. To move on. It hurt to hold on, it hurt to let go.
“Let me go,” she mumbled and dropped her gaze.
Ezra inhaled a deep breath which pushed his heated chest closer to hers. The act felt more intimate than it should have.
His feet moved until he reached the dance floor. With smooth movements, he set her down. Her feet on his. They weren’t dancing to the peaceful slow tunes. Just shifting and stuck together. Both physically and metaphorically.
“You don’t love me now,” he whispered against her cheek and cupped the back of her head. “But you will, someday. You will ache for me the same way I do for you. Just let me in. Please...”
Lily gripped the lapels of his black jacket and closed her eyes. “You’re forcing your love on me.”
“Because I know it’s right for both of us.”
“Don’t make my decisions for me. What you think is only good for you. You’ll suffocate me.”
Ezra let out a burst of his musky breath on her cheek, fluttering her lashes and the bittersweet dead butterflies deep down.
“If came to it, I will suffocate myself.” His head dipped between her neck and her shoulder as he spoke, “I won’t protect you but I will never let someone harm you either.”
“As long as that someone is not you?”
He sighed. “I’m not harming you, my precious princess. You’re harming me. By leaving me. How do I tell you? Everytime you talk about ending us you tear my flesh apart. All I’m trying to do is ease my pain.”
“What about my pain?” She asked.
The answer was silence. People changed partners for next song whilst the two danced to their melodic misery.
After what felt like hours, Ezra paused. His hold did not loosen. The fire in his eyes was still there, just a little blurred. His battle was not with the world alone, it was with his world and himself too.
“All I know,” he told her. “Is if I don’t fight for us, I will perish. If you don’t bend, you break.” His rough large palms drew her face closer. “Bend with me or I will break both of us.”
There it was.
That spark of his selfish desires. His love. Where there was her only if she belonged to him. That spark that lit up her ashes again and again. It made her wonder if she did belong to him, what more would he ask for?
“Let’s go,” she declared into the beautiful blues she once considered her salvation. “Take me where you want to. I’ll come, because you want me to.”
Ezra lit up like a bulb. His smile stretched farther, his dimple deeper and his breaths harsher. In his ecstacy, he missed her undertone.
“For real? No lies, no regrets, no playing?”
“Yeah,” she responded.
He swooped down and placed a soul branding kiss on her lips. His raging heart thumped against her chest. A giddy boyish laugh spilled from her light chest as he twirled her round on the floor, attracting even more attention than they already did.
“I’m the most lucky motherfucker in here!” He shouted.
Lily smacked her palm on her mouth with eyes wide as soccers and cheeks burning red.
Ezra grinned, licked her palm playfully then pulled her towards the grand doors to the ballroom. Her dress trailed behind her in a flurry. Her head was ducked low to hide her embarrassment, which didn’t make senses since she did nothing wrong or weird.
“Where are you taking me?” She asked once they burst into the hallway.
Ezra yanked her hand, threw her up in the air then caught her in her arms and resumed his long strides.
With a dizzy head, Lily pondered if he was always this strong. He probably was. Perks of being an alpha.
“Home,” he said happily. “Our home.”
Lily remained silent the rest of the ride. His happiness consumed him to brim. Her damp comprehension and dull eyes were flicked aside as he disposed her affectionately in his car and drove to their pack.
One of his hand was curled around hers throughout their journey. His thumb never stopped stroking her skin, neither did dread stop stroking her stomach. Talking to him seemed hard so she turned her head away and pretended to sleep.
Marie, she mindlinked her when the familiar route of their pack appeared. I’m back at the pack. Nothing serious, don’t worry. I have a few things to take care of at the cafe. Sorry for ditching you guys. I didn’t want to ruin your night. Meet me when you return. Congrats and best wishes for your new life.
Her mindlink shut down when she was done. Their questions and accusations were all valid but she didn’t have the energy for anything other than the man sitting beside her.
“We’re home.” Ezra kissed her cheek and nudged her shoulder before exiting the driver’s seat.
Lily slid out of the car before he could reach her round the car. Her dress plopped on the pavement as she straightened up and gazed at his house behind him.
Behind the blind happiness in his eyes, Lily spotted nervousness and anxiety. His hands were stiff when he dished out his keys and opened the door. Inside, the house was as wrecked as she had last seen. The tables scattered, couch out of place, a vase broken, and his shirt that covered her naked body that day near the stairs.
“I forgot to clean the place,” Ezra scratched his hair and fidgeted. “It will be spotless tomorrow. I promise.”
A frown crawled up her face. The edgy beast from earlier was now a tender, timid mate.
“It’s alright,” she muttered absentmindedly.
He read her face for any signs of displeasure before he led her up to their room. Which again was in the same condition. Sheets strewn, headboard broken and a lamp dumped beside the night stand.
Ezra silently sat down on his bed and unlaced his shoes then kicked them off. His socks followed next. His eyes greedily clung to the only woman who could satiate his hunger. She strode slowly across the room and stood in front of the floor length mirror.
Lily stared at her reflection. She was there but not quite. He had unknowingly changed a lot in him. This decision was as going to be as hurtful as the first one. No matter how hard she tried to save both of them for themselves, she couldn’t.
Then there was him. His toxic charm and harmful self-destruction. His madness knew no boundaries but a thought bothered her.
How far would he go?
Her brown eyes flickered to his in the mirror. He didn’t shy away this time. His fingers glided smoothly as he removed his jacket and uncuffed his sleeves. The unintentionally flattering sight did little justice to the knots forming in her guts.
Deliberately slow, her hands reached behind her for her zipper. The fabric set her strained waist free. With every inch of her skin exposed to his eyes, the temperature in the room flared up and her thoughts crept closer towards dread.
Ezra rolled up his sleeves until they bunched up by his biceps and stood up. He ate up the distance between them and pressed up behind her back. With bathed breaths, Lily shrugged her heavy neckline off and let it fall down her arms but Ezra caught it before it could reveal more than her peach cotton bra.
His nose dug in her neck and inhaled her scent then slid down to her throat. His lips made her skin tingle, his scent still set her lungs on fire. But his intentions were going to ruin that.
Ezra licked her smooth, soft shoulder and bit down on it softly. Her wince didn’t go unnoticed. He smiled and gripped her face.
“The only right you don’t have is walking away from me,” he craned her neck and grazed her parted lips. “You still rule my world. You’re still my queen. Your presence is my life and your absence, death. If my Lillian thinks her Ezra will violate her then she needs another brain.”
Her lungs soaked oxygen when he let her go. Her knots eased but an uncomfortable ache spread in her chest. Why was he so fatal?
“I’ll get your things. Sleep if you’re tired.”
She was panting by the time he disappeared. Her shaky legs took her to the bed. She was sweating when she swiped her hair away from her face.
Should I be disappointed?
There was no answer. Not from her brain, not from her heart. It was just her on her own. Even her wolf was quite.
Water. She needed water. There was a jug of water on the night stand but she wasn’t sure if the water was clean. So she stood and picked up the jug to fetch and that’s when her gaze found the folded paper on the floor.
There ya go 💞