“Are you going to tell me or would you keep this from me too?”
Lily frozed, the blood in her already cold body turning into icicles. Did he find out? No, no. It’s not possible.
The sonograms were safely tucked into her purse and her purse was right beside her on the bed. Ezra sat next to her on the edge of the mattress and held onto her hand tightly. The circles under his eyes squeezed her heart.
“What do you mean?”
Ezra pursed his lips, anger lurking in the corners of his worried eyes. “You were shaking, disoriented and silent the whole ride from the park to here. Tell me, why?”
Lily sighed inwardly in relief and sunk into the pillows. “I... I was just thinking and then someone threw this rock into the pond. It threw me off.”
“Yeah?” Ezra quirked a brow in a ‘are you kidding me’ manner at her.
Lily flickered her eyes away and nodded. Ezra let go of her hand and stroked his chin stubbornly.
“Fine,” he announced, “I guess I’ll have to double the guards looking after you.”
Lily perked up in bed and snatched his wrist before he could shift. “This is not fair. I’m not a prisoner or a dog. You’re keeping me on a leash.”
Ezra scowled. “Leash? It’s for your protection.”
“I don’t want protection, nor do I need it.”
Ezra could sense the storm raging up in her warm but deadly brown eyes. “I know you don’t but I’m backing off from this decision. Your protection comes first regardless of whether you can do it yourself or no.”
“Excuse you.” Lily said in a clipped tone.
Ezra graoned and rubbed his eyes then bent down to her face holding the headboard and placing on hand beside her waist. His breaths tickled her cheeks.
“Baby,” Ezra pleaded in an almost breathless voice. “Every precious thing needs to be guarded. Everyone wants it and you know me...” He lifted his hand grazed the side of her neck with his fingers. “I can’t afford losing you.”
Lily took a couple seconds to comprehend what he said because his proximity sparked flames in her belly. Isn’t it a bit too early for a fetus to react to its father? It felt nicer than usual. His baby.
“So I am a precious thing?”
A ghost of a dimple appeared on his cheek. He pressed his lips lightly against the corner of her mouth and hummed, “You’re my world and beyond that world.”
Lily’s toes curled out of their own accord. Her eyes shut at the sizzling sensations crawling under her skin.
“You’re manipulating me...” She managed squeezing out.
Ezra chuckled, the sound rumbling in his chest. “I’m merely stating a fact.”
Lily inhaled deeply and composed herself. She didn’t want him to think her silence meant submission. Gripping his collars out of the blue, she jerked up his face and bumped their noses in the process.
It didn’t deter the ‘I am not going to take orders from you’ flames going up in her aura.
“I hate being followed. You understand?”
Ezra opened his mouthy probably to say something sarcastic but her eyes shut him up. He plopped down beside her and cupped her face above her fists on his shirt.
“Those witches who attacked our pack are still on the loose. Azazel warned us about their targets. They’ll come after you, the Luna, first to finish this pack and trust me they will succeed in a blink if you–” he couldn’t even think of it.
“I promise you,” he said, “I give you my word once this drama ends no one will follow you.”
Lily felt a heavy stone settle in her stomach. Her protective maternal instincts bloomed so fast it overwhelmed her. She can very well knock those rogues out but no way on earth or in hell was she going to compromise the health of her baby.
“Okay.” She agreed unwillingly.
Ezra pulled back, bewildered. “Really? Just like that?”
Lily resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “Yeah. Remember your promise, though. I’ll hold you to it.”
A good little smile stretched his cheeks. In his excitement he dived in for a kiss but Lily turned her face before he could reach her lips. Intimacy was a foreign concept in their current situation. It made her uncomfortable. Not because she didn’t want to but because it made her want him even more and that butchered her sense of self respect every time.
Ezra sighed against her cheek and uttered, “Sorry” before exiting the room.
An awkward atmosphere of guilt, fear and joy surrounded her. Her hands automatically went to her flat belly and stroked it as if she was stroking the face of her baby. The woman from the park mad her skin crawl. Cursed? Bullshit.
Lily was damn sure the nonsense she spewed was the common information about her that the whole pack knew. She could have heard it from anyone. Yet... The way she felt when the old lady touched her hands... It was creepy. Unsettling. As if her body was warning her against something.
Ugh. Her pregnancy symptoms were driving her wild already. Her stomach was empty and her throat full. Nausea and hunger didn’t go well hand in hand.
Fortunately, and thanks to the moon goddess, Ezra ordered food late that evening. She strolled around in the kitchen until she found take out boxes. She set up a plate for her and ate in silence in the empty kitchen.
There were two other boxes disposed in the bin already so she knew Ezra was home. She had not heard him leave the house or say anything to her so she trailed off looking for him after she was done.
Why am I even looking for him? That stilled her steps. He could be doing anything. It was his house after all. Her concern for him made her wolf edgy.
Lily was about to go into his room and take a nap when her eyes caught the red light peeking out from under the door behind the stairwell.
Curious, she trotted up and knocked. A few seconds passed and no answer came from the inside. She knocked again and again no answer.
Maybe he’s... sleeping in there.
Something pulled at her heart and urged her to enter so she inhaled and went inside.
The first thing that stopped her by the door was the sight of her mate and the distant smell of cigarette in his private bar. The room was soaked in a lush red light which allowed her to spot the huge bowl of liquid resting on the table in front of him.
“Ezra?” The name left her mouth in a rush.
He had his head lulled back over the recliner and a glass in his hand. Her voice barely got a reaction out of him so Lily hurried to his side and got rid of his glass.
“Ezra.” She tried again.
He hummed, the slight grumble vibrating right through to her hand holding his.
“You’re wasted!” She scolded him and pushed the bowl away. “That did you put in it?”
Ezra could barely gesture to the lines of bottles decorating the bar counter. For some reason, it boiled her blood.
“Are you insane? This is reckless and completely stupid.” She fussed and stood up to check his fever.
She didn’t know why she was checking his fever though.
“What?” He rasped out.
Lily bit down on her lip to swallow her rage. His eyes were unfocused, red and sleepy. Her palms were itching.
“Let’s get you to bed. We’ll talk about this in the morning.” She tried pulling him up but he was heavier than a rock.
Ezra smiled weakly at her then shifted with great difficulty and tugged on her pinky finger.
“S-sleep weed mee.” He slurred. “I mean... here. Cheese?”
She frowned. “Cheese?”
Ezra pouted petulantly. “Please me said.”
Lily smacked her forehead so hard, the noise made him wince. Her palm moved to rub her temples as she glared at him. The recliner was big enough to accommodate him but she’d hardly fit. Plus, he needed serious help. The content in the bowl made her stomach churn.
She ignored the whines of Ezra, picked up the bowl and emptied it in the restroom attached to the bar. When she came back, her anger fired up all over again.
He got stoned just because she refused him a kiss. What would he do if she refused more tomorrow?
Since she couldn’t even make him budge, she removed his shoes, his socks, slipped off his coat meanwhile ignoring his needy butterfly kisses on her neck.
Ezra is the definition of clingy.
She dumped his clothes in a laundry basket then fetched him a blanket and made him drink a glass of water.
“I can’t take you upstairs like this. You’ll have to sleep here.” She said as she tucked him in the blanket.
He stared at her long and hard then grabbed her wrist and placed her palm on his chest.
“Ion...W-want to be...looonely.”
Her heart jumped at the hesitance in those blue eyes. Why did he always make her feel guilty about being a hot blooded woman?
She was going to refuse but her mouth and heart betrayed her. Her belly was another addition to the traitors.
Soundless, she slipped under the blanket and made herself comfortable on top of his chest. His arms, as weak as they were in his drunken stupor, still drew her closer and locked her in.
“Give mee all y-your sorrows and take me happiness too.” He stuttered in her hair.“You face was crafted to smile, beb.”
Lily was enveloped in his maddening scent when she shifted her head on his massive chest and peered up at him.
“You need a therapist.”
His chest jerked in an incomplete chuckle. “You be my thoracic... therapot... therapist.” He scrunched his nose in distaste at his vocabulary.
She could only stare into emotions swarming those blue eyes, troubling his mind and heart. It made her realize the problem was not that he wanted what he can’t have. The problem was him so deeply confused in his feelings it led him to destruction.
Ezra took her gaze for affection and puckered his lips out. Lily held back her giggle at how ridiculous he looked. Part of her longed to kiss him. It convinced her he won’t remember in the morning anyway.
Holding her breath, she craned her neck and pressed her lips to his. The smile his lips converted into was contagious.
The night rolled into morning and that’s how Ezra found her the next morning. He had a hammering headache wake him up to the taste of death in his mouth but it all paused momentarily when realised his empire is sleeping soundly in his arms.
They were lying on their sides. Lily was snuggled up in his neck and he was holding her because of the lack of space on the recliner.
So close. She was so close yet so far. He didn’t know what to do with the incomplete wounds she gave him. Either give him a whole wound the pain of which will make him high. Or heal him.
She seemed interested in none.
Ezra’s breaths hitched when she stirred in his arms. He was preparing himself for the upcoming withdrawal of his beloved but it never came. She peeled her eyes open groggily, blinked at him then went back to sleep.
It made him frown. His Lillian was a control freak and that included controlling her own body clock. He hadn’t witnessed her sleep in late in all his years in the pack.
Her temperature was fine. Her breathing rate was also normal. He slipped his hand between them and subtly pressed it against her chest to check her heartbeats. Normal.
His bashed up mind told him to get his ass up because he had a meeting with the royal investigators. It also threatened him not to wake her up. Her tired sigh made him consider his pack duties.
Unfortunately he couldn’t afford slacking off anymore.
Inconspicuously, he untangled himself from her and got up with a head which was read to split into two. He took painkillers then prepared breakfast before taking a quick shower changing into a black shirt and gray pants.
“Good to see you again, Alpha.” The investigators shook his hand when they entered his office at the packhouse.
“Likewise,” Ezra nodded. “Please, have a seat.”
Cole and Luke were already seated on the couches when the two investigators joined them and exchanged pleasantries.
“We have some bad news.” The older one said, “Last night, Blood Bayou pack was under attack. The Luna is in the hospital. A few pack members lost their lives and some are severally injured. The prince wants an end to this war in a peaceful exchange with the witches. If they refused then he has requested the packs to prepare for a battle alongside the prince.”
Cole took the documents from him and leafed through the pages while Luke jotted down.
“Peaceful exchange with the witches?” Ezra couldn’t believe his ears. “Those witches are already breaking a peace treaty and we don’t even know what they want. They’re just slaughtering back and forth without a proper demand.”
The two elders exchanged a stressful look.
“We found a written statement on a handkerchief with blood at the packhouse which was under attack...” He gestured Cole to pass the photograph of Ezra. “We don’t know what they want but the prince has an idea of striking a deal.”
Ezra took the photo and brought it up for a closer look. “It makes...no sense.” He mumbled.
The darkness of a wounded beast will bloom the seed of destruction and doom written by the son of death and a sacred womb will nurture that end.
“Right now, you need to check the abducted kids you freed.” The other one told Ezra. “The Blood Bayou pack has reported stranged sleepwalking behaviors in the kids.”
“You mean...” Ezra trailed off.
“Hypnosis?” Luke completed.
“Yes. They used the innocent and unprotected minds of the kids to spy on us.”
Ezra, Lily mindlinked him. He instantly dropped his attention from the meeting.
Yes, my queen?
Are you still busy?
Ezra noticed the stares from the others. “Excuse me, for a moment. It’s my mate.”
They nodded and engaged in a discussion with Cole.
I brought you lunch.
Ezra almost laughed. Lunch?
You don’t want it? Ok.
Ezra stood up from his seat with a barely restrained goofy smile on his face. Of course, I want it. Where are you?
Outside your office.
First of all, super sorry for making you folks wait. My schedule is crazy these days. So I made a plan of updating every Sunday and Thursday. Hope you guys are safe in these tough times. Much lovies✨🍎🍓