The little piece of paper drew her attention like a moth to a flame. Now that she saw it, her mind recalled seeing it here. Water long forgotten she placed the jug back on the nightstand and grabbed the letter before sitting on the edge of the bed.
Her heart, as if it knew, squeezed in her chest when she started unfolding the page stained with her mate’s feelings. Then, the words greeted her. The words her mate wrote to plead for her mercy.
It was never your foolishness or blind trust. He had written, It was my fault I couldn’t recognize the passion of your innocence. It was my eyes’ fault that couldn’t see your beauty. I disregarded the value of your smile. That foolish man burned in the flames of your separation. This is me, your Ezra, Lillian Avi.
Her throat closed up.
Your passionately crazy lover. Spare me, please. I, an Alpha, am begging you on my weak worthless knees to spare me. Your eternally indebted mate wants another chance. If you don’t, he’ll suffocate in loneliness. You’re worth so much more than this world could offer. Today, I made another mistake. Another apology from me. I’m sorry.
He was apologizing for breaking into her stone cold heart and leaving an unwelcomed trail of warmth.
What have I done to deserve you and what have I done to witness losing you?
Her eyes stung. It was everything she was going through. It was what she wanted to ask the moon goddess. After everything Lily went through. Why did she not deserve him? The panic she would feel each time her departure from the temple made sense now.
I’ll never know. Neither would she. The only thing that matters is you. I’m crazed about you my Lillian. I’m in love with you. And that scares me. That scares everyone who know me. I’ll come back for you. Again, I’m sorry for what happened.
Truly only yours,
Her heart was punishing her because inhaling pulled on the hook of dread in her stomach and exhaling yanked at the chains around her throat.
All for what?
A silly fantasy.
A broken bond.
Her cure turned bane.
His love was bittersweet. It was reckless, blind, dark, ruthless, chaotic, obsessive and perhaps eternal. The height of ecstasy that kept them both sleepless, void of peace.
As close as apart.
As alive as dead.
A fatal taste of poison.
She could feel it. Every sip of his presence was a drug. Like an alcoholic, she knew, it was consuming her slowly but there was that threat of death when she thought of going cold turkey.
Torn, Lily scrunched up the paper and lifted her hand to toss it in the nearest bin only to fail. The innocent paper was not only burning her palm but her insides too.
Who was telling the truth? This letter or his actions? Was he mistaking his feelings for love or was she missing something?
Crazy lover he said. Which one did he mean more? Crazy or lover.
Lily, dear. Kandra came through her haze. The Alpha is saying you moved out. He’s here to get your things. Are you okay? Why didn’t you tell me?
Lily sniffled and opened the scrunched up paper. I need my things for a few days. Don’t rent the room out because I’ll still be paying. And don’t stress, I’ll meet you tomorrow at the cafe.
You’re back, already?
She tenderly tugged and pulled on the paper to get rid of the creases and wrinkles on the letter. Yes. I’m not fond of socializing.
A pause, then, Are you with the Alpha?
He was my mate. Lily dragged the words like it weighed tons. We need to sort some things out. I’ll see you tomorrow.
Okay. Take care, honey.
The letter occupied her senses so much her body forgot it needed water. The words cut her deep. It daunted her. If contradiction had a body, it was definitely the one gone to fetch her things. Maybe it was the woman sitting on the bed too.
It would have suffocated her with joy if she had read that letter a month ago. Now? It hurt.
A loud bang announced the arrival of her turmoil. His demanding heavy footsteps reached her ears like a promise. I will come to you no matter where you are. She folded the letter and carefully tucked it in the cup of her bra making her heart swell as if rejoiced with their reunion.
“I left some,” he declared the moment he waltzed through the door. “We can get the rest of your things tomorrow.”
His tantalizing blue eyes stayed glued to her as she slid off the bed and approched her suitcase.
“Thanks,” her voice was starchy.
“You need help with that?” Ezra asked, gesturing to his wardrobe. “I’ll put your clothes in there.”
“No, I’ll do it.” She replied. “You must be tired too.”
Ezra combed his hair back then moved his hand down to rub the back of his neck. “Not today.”
Lily stole her gaze away when it lingered longer than necessary on his bulging chest.
“Change while I work on the wardrobe. I’ll need the bathroom to take a shower.” Her dismissive tone made him frown but he let it slide as she dragged the bag behind her to the walk-in closet.
The sight made his beast sigh. How he longed to see her own him and own everything he owned.
Taking a quick shower, mindful of leaving hot water for her, he fetched his grey sweatpants and a matching polo shirt from the closet. She was avoiding him for some reason unbeknownst to him.
It didn’t bother him much though. His entire existence was still reeling. She came back with him. It felt like a fairytale. Was she really there? Of course, she was. He scoffed to himself. Her scent, her scorching presence and her maddening brown eyes that watched him when he tasted her skin earlier were far superior than his imagination.
He sighed as he dipped inside the fresh blanket he retrieved from the chest in his room. Lily had gone inside their bathroom. The sound of water running felt like it was rinsing him from all his dread. A mountain of a weight had rolled off his shoulder when he saw her clothes hung in his closet.
A small smile spread his cheeks recalling the colors of her dresses. White, peach and creme. Innocent, peaceful and beautiful. Like her.
Finally, the door to his bathroom shut. Her light footsteps made no noise as she rounded the bed and found the water bottle on the side table.
“I thought you’d be thirsty,” Ezra told her, rolling over to his side and propping his head on his arm.
“I was,” Lily admitted and took a sip after sitting down. “You didn’t have to.”
Ezra watched mesmerized as she braided her hair and tied it with a rubber. The nude color silk night robe brought out the mouthwatering shade of her caramel skin. The contrast drove him nuts.
“I did have to,” he uttered absently. His voice deeper than usual. “Only me.”
Lily paused. “It’s just water.” She was facing away from him.
He chuckled and reached out. His fingers grazed her braid. “Just water but for you." He tugged at the end of her hair lightly making her scalp tingle.
Her heart rate spiked up. She gulped and turned the lamp near her. The sheets rustled when Ezra reached over to the lamp on his side and turned it off. The darkness offered a quarter of relief to Lily.
Here she was. A hot and cold hypocrite about to sleep with the man she wanted freedom from. She was feeling ashamed of the occasional flutter in her belly. It embarrassed her self respect.
With a heavy heart, she dipped under the blanket, still facing away from Ezra. The silence between them was buzzing. Buzzing with life, questions, frustration and heartache.
Unfortunately Ezra wasn’t blessed with the same amount of patience she was. He drew in a deep breath and pressed up against her back. Her spine stiffened up instantly then relaxed out of it’s own accord when his warmth wrapped her up.
The breath in his lungs rushed out and greeted her exposed neck. His arm curled around her abdomen. That triggered her conflict. For some reason that arm cut off her oxygen supply. Her body riled up, not appreciative of the proximity with her belly.
It was weird but dreadful. Ezra seemed to notice though because he threaded his fingers with hers and moved their hands of her chest.
“You are my luck charm.” He spoke softly yet his chest rumbled against her back. “When I found you, you changed the world around me.” His lips grazed the sensitive skin of her neck. “And losing you changed me."
Lily squeezed her eyes shut when he placed his forehead in the crook of her shoulder. “There is chaos in your separation but it is a marvelous guide.”
The micro fireworks going off in her chest petrified her. She was in a battle with herself. Her guts were wrenched but her wolf had other ideas. This was her personal punishment. She didn’t want the man but her body did.
“I can’t understand you.” The words left her mouth before her swimming head could comprehend.
“Don’t try,” he said against her skin. “There’s nothing in my essence, that is interpretable. Ignorance is not bliss, it’s a cure. For those, who know me well. I don’t want to scare you.”
“You would keep me in the dark if it benefits you.”
He was silent for half a miniute before shaking his head and snuggling up more. “One order from you and I’ll turn the world upside down. My friends will be my rivals if you don’t like them. I’ll call the sun moon if you ask me. I know I’m hostile, aggressive, impulsive. Anyon can easily label me a monster but I’m your monster, Lillian. I’ll bow in front of all your wishes.” He hesitated before adding, “All but one. Consider your separation my last breath. Apart from that, I respect you more than you do yourself.”
How could this man make her breathless with blatant lies?
“Even if you make it out of gold, a prison will always be a prison.” She told him.
Behind her, she felt him stop breathing. “You agreed to be with me.”
“Because you threatened me with your life. Your obstinacy brought me here, not my heart.”
His voice betrayed his emphasis. “You’re not that weak to let me drag you here if you didn’t want. I have seen your courage more times than one.”
“Courage is one thing. Helplessness is another.”
Ezra gripped her arm and turned her with a ferocity that pulled a gasp out of her. The silver of moonlight flooding the room allowed her to witness the glint in his eyes.
“Lillian,” he breathed as if that name could convey all that he couldn’t say.
His fingers curled around the back of her head and drew her near. Her arms between them kept them apart as their chests competed for the limited air around them.
“You will love me, soon. I know you will. Just accept what’s happening. Fates will do the rest.”
Lily worked on her swallow. “I think,” her voice was barely a whisper so she tried again.
“I think... I ruined love for you. You ruined love for me. We both ruined us for our own reasons.”
“No,” he denied. “We didn’t.”
Lily knew he’d never agree. She was starting to understand his defence mechanism. Everything that opposed his opinions was eliminated in his book.
“I’m tired,” she pushed at his chest.
To her surprise, he let her go. When she turned away this time, he didn’t follow, he didn’t cuddle. And so, her night rolled into day with her heart lodged in her throat.
His loud breathing became her lullaby. Her attention on how their breaths synced pulled her into a dreamless sleep.
The next morning when her eyes peeled open, he was there. She was facing him. The temporary peace on his face tugged at her heart. When her mind made sense of her surrounding, she found his forefinger curled around her pinky finger. He wouldn’t let go, even in his sleep.
It was heart melting but in what way? She was terrified of his obsession. Today, it was making them one. What if that obsession changed to something else when she submitted to his will?
As unconsciously as possible, she untangled their fingers and changed. She didn’t want to risk taking a shower and waking him up. It was early morning. The thought of confronting him after last night made her palms clammy.
Sabrina and Kandra were opening up the Cafe when she reached there. They greeted her inside. Sabrina started with reloading the showcase with treats while Kandra made coffee for Lily.
Sabrina caught her arm when she stumbled. Her head was feeling slightly dizzy.
“Didn’t eat breakfast.” She said and followed Kandra inside the kitchen.
“I hope you’re okay, dear. You look pale.” Kandra noticed when she placed the mug in front of her.
Lily was barely breathing. The bitter taste of bile was slowly rising in her throat. Her hands were trembling like a leaf.
“Lily?” Kandra tried again.
Lily threw her a devastated look and dashed to the bathroom. Kandra was right behind her when she hurled her empty stomach out.
“Goodness gracious!” Kandra held her hair back.
Lily threw up until her throat felt raw and stomach bleached. “I’m okay, now.” She wheezed after regaining her breaths and flashed water over her face.
Kandra was nervous as she patted her back. “Are you pregnant, dear?”
“No!” She rushed, “N-no, I’m not...”
Her tone was not convincing. Her own ears could detect the fear behind it. How could this happen? Why would it? She had those pills! This was just a stomach bug.
Another wave of nausea hit her and she threw up once more whilst chanting in her head, I’m not pregnant.
Kandra helped her to the kitchen table and got her a glass of water. Lily winced at the soreness of her nose and food pipe. Her stomach was still tangled in knots though.
“I’ll be back.” She told Kandra and the cafe without another word. The frantic mind took her to the nearest drug store and bought pregnancy test strips and went to their restroom.
After the third positive test result in one hour, Lily held her head in her hands and tried to stop the spinning in her head. She was barely conscious.
This. Can’t. Be. Happening.
Inkitt is giving me headaches. I’m still a bit under the weather and that always make me extra cranky. So when I write a chapter and submit it only for it to be erased from my drafts, it drives me nutzzz. I wrote this chapter two times. 🤧🤧 . Gah!
Anyways, I apologise for the wait. Wish you love 💞