A long, deep inhale and AAAH! Satisfaction.
It's an unmistakable, undeniable, mouth-watering aroma of sweet vanilla. I smell it before I can even see the source and suddenly Brex, my wolf, starts going wild, howling and behaving restlessly. I try to calm him down, but to no avail.... until, I spot her.
Brex wastes no time answering. 'Mate'
I take a quick look around my surroundings, then back at her as she slowly enters the school premises. Her head is hung low, the white blouse, that she wears as a uniform, swings on her like a loose nightgown, her pleated blue skirt looks like a hand-me-down from her grandmother, her shoes are tattered, her bag pack, which she tightly grips by its straps, seem patched up with various fabrics with no real pattern going on. She looks a mess.
Brex frowns at my observations. 'Everyone can't be rich like you, Grey. Her uniform is big but well pressed, her shoes are tattered but yet polished, her bag is patched up but each piece of fabric is clean... her hair is well kept AND.... she smells AMAZING.'
I don't reply, knowing there's truth to what he says, but I refused to be convinced.
Just then, some wannabe bad boys rush past her, almost knocking her down. She stumbles, tightening her grip on the straps as if they'll steady her. She barely maintains her balance. It's obvious, that those guys are at fault, yet when they demand an apology, she simply obliges without hesitation.
'wow, she's meek.' Brex comments thoughtfully, though he's fuming, fighting me for control to deal with those so daring to hurt his mate.
'You mean weak' I scoff, immediately shutting off our link because I know, he's not going to approve of what I'm about to do.
Without another moment of wasted time, I march up to her after she had been abandoned by the reckless, self-absorbed guys.
“I, Austin Grey, future Alpha of the Silver Sword Pack, reject-”
Her eyes momentarily shoot up to meet mine, fear swirling within them. “Wait” she holds up her hand stopping me before I could utter another word. “I’ll accept… but first...” her voice is a whisper as she hangs her head low again, refusing to look at me now. “Can you do me one favor?”
Confusion coats my facial expression, creating an awkward silence between us as I wait for her to continue, but the silence stretches, appearing as if she is expecting me to say something, but I don't.
Finally, she lifts her head slightly to see my raised brows prompting her on.
“I kinda...." she begins, nervously fidgeting with her fingers like a child as she averts her gaze.
Ugh! So frustrating, see why I can’t have her as Luna, she’ll drive me nut with this weak, goody-two-shoes, shy, introverted, or whatever kind of personality you want to call it.
I'm not picky when it comes to my feminine choices. I’m of the opinion once she breathes, she’s fit to bed, but commitment? With the Luna title on the line? Let's just say, thank you, but next. I mean, I can bed it, but I won’t wed it, so why waste my time?
About a minute or so passes and she's yet to speak. Can’t she just speak up and get over with it already?
I glance down at my watch, then back at her.
“I don’t have all day, you know.”
“I kinda…" she tries again, nervously "I kinda saved myself for my mate.” She whispers.
I swear, if there was water in my mouth, it definitely would have become a choking hazard. “Huh?” maybe I didn’t hear correctly.
By 16 it is rear to find a virgin. I certainly wasn’t one and never held out hope that my mate might be.
She stares at me, probably looking for me to say something.
“So, what are you trying to say?” I ask, not trusting my own interpretation of her words for fear that I might be wrong.
Her eyes dart between mine, searching for something. “I want you to…”
“Be your first?” I inquire feeling quite flattered and indeed, truly honored, which is further solidified as she nods in confirmation.
“Meet me, my house, 7:00 PM sharp!” she nods again before turning to leave. “And don’t be late! I have another appointment at 7:30” I shout after her.
She just keeps walking, but I know she heard.
“Hey, Austin.” I turn to see Jason, my Beta in the training, approaching me. I smile and nod. “What was all of that about?”
“You mean her?” I point, not that she's still in view. “She’s my mate.”
“You’re joking right?” He laughs, causing me to sigh.
His laughter immediately dies as he recognizes that I'm being serious. “So, you are officially off the market then.” Why did that sound more like a statement than a question?
My head snaps to him with deep cut scrunched brows, and I know that it serves as answer enough for him.
“I don’t think that is fair to her, man.” Jason tries to reason with me.
“Look,” I plainly state, moving off from where we are stationed as Jason tails a few inches behind. “just stay out of my business.”
“That’s a bit difficult seeing that I’m practically going to be your Beta.” He mumbles.
I pause, whipping my head towards him. “My love life is NOT your business.” My tone adds finality to the conversation and the rest of the journey is pervaded by silence.
The day goes by slowly as usual, and the bell to signal the end of school is like music to my ears.
“Austin! The coach is looking for you in his office.”
I kick the ball to Pete, the goalie, and he blocks it with ease. “Let me guess, you are going easy on me?” he shouts out, tossing the ball back onto the field.
"Actually, I was just kicking the ball to you because I’m leaving the field. Coach wants me.”
"Always an excuse.” He chuckles, shaking his head. He isn’t wrong, I don’t lose, and on the odd occasion I do, there’s always a reason. Always.
I smile at him, before leaving to head to the coach’s office. I knock, wait until I’m beckoned in, then I enter.
"Take a seat.” I do as told. “As you know, the match against Skylow Academy is coming up… I need you to head the practice sessions for a few weeks until I return.”
I stare at him puzzled. “Where to?”
"Surgery, out of state.” He goes into his draw pulling out a sheet of paper attached to a clipboard. “Here’s what you’ll need, once you follow the schedule, you should be good.”
"But why are you giving it to me now, aren’t you going to be at practice today.” I ask, hesitantly taking it from him.
He stands, making his way around the desk to my side. “Yes, I’ll be at practice today, but you’ll be taking over now, so I get to see you in action before I go.”
He taps me on the shoulder then leads the way out as I follow behind.
“Alright, everyone.” Coach claps, getting everyone’s attention. “I’m leaving for a while and I have appointed Mr. Grey to coach in my stead. I trust that you’ll show him the same respect that you’ve shown me.”
“Booo!” Zavier chants, exaggerating his thumbs down. Everyone laughs, including me; he’s the clown of the group, so naturally, I don't take it to heart, no hard feelings. Zavier then laughs, holding up his hand in surrender as he catches Coach’s unamused expression. “Ok ok, I’ll be good.”
“You better be.” Coach warns with narrowed eyes.
Coach then takes a seat on the bleachers and nods at me. I pull out the clipboard that had been tucked under my arm. “Alright, 20 laps around the field, go.”
I fold my arms across my chest just like Coach usually does as I watch them begin to run.
“Ahem.” The sound of a throat clearing behind me catches my attention and I turn around only to see Coach pointing to the others. “Hop to it, Grey.”
I have no other choice than to join the running throng.
Two hours later and we are all warming down as Coach makes his way over to us. “I’m pleased.” He smiles at me before his smile is extended to the entire group. “All the best at the game, I’ll see if I can watch it live if I'm not back in time.”
We all huddle together with Coach in the middle as we say bid him farewell.
“Make me proud, boys.”
"We will, Coach” We respond almost in unison.
No one knows what the surgery is for; according to Coach, he doesn’t want to make us worry unnecessarily.
"See you all later.” I wave, heading to the locker room to change.
"So, what are your plans for tonight?” I look up from stuffing my games clothes into my bag to see Jason walking in.
“The usual.” I answer zipping my bag to sling it over my shoulder. “As a matter of fact, I’m running late.” I tap his shoulder as I pass, getting a brief glimpse of his head shaking in disappointment.
I hop onto my motorbike, flying home to an empty house, just like always. Pack business always occupies my parents’ attention, so they are never really home. I hated it at first but now I’m so accustomed that I just use it to my advantage.
I step into the shower, feeling the cold water run down my body, relaxing my muscles. There’s nothing like a cold shower after a long hot day. I stay there for a few minutes, before getting out, and hanging a towel loosely around my waist. I feel free and in no rush to get dressed, so I just go down to the kitchen dressed as I am to fetch just about anything from the fridge that would console my growling stomach.
Now satisfied and just chilling, I'm soon alerted to a presence at the door as the ringing of the doorbell echoes through the house. “Coming.” I call out, not bothering to change my attire.
I glance up at the clock, then deeply inhale. The scent of sweet vanilla immediately fills my lungs. Right on time.