It was really dark outside when I woke up, groggy from my sleep. A light thud woke me up, and I could hear movement in my room. When I opened my eyes, I noticed a figure standing near the window.
I abruptly sat up from my bed and was about to cry bloody murder when he spoke up. “Don’t yell, it’s me,” he said in a quiet smooth voice.
“Layton?” I whispered.
“Yeah,” he replied, closing the window.
“What are you doing here?” I asked softly.
I couldn’t explain why his presence in the middle of the night didn’t scare me. It was one of those things about Layton that I couldn’t explain to myself.
“I tried calling you and you didn’t pick up. I wanted to make sure you were okay.”
He was now standing next to my bed. It was dark in my room, the only light coming from the moon outside my window.
“Oh,” I mumbled.
“Are you? Okay, I mean?” he asked, taking a seat on my bed.
“I have no idea. Today was crazy,” I replied, lying back down.
“Was it bad crazy?”
“I’m not sure. I don’t know what to make of what happened,” I replied honestly.
“I want to stay here with you.” His voice was serious, like he expected me to agree.
“Why?” I asked suspiciously.
“I just want to be near you.”
I thought about his words. It wasn’t like we were going to be doing anything, other than sleeping. If he tried something on me, all I had to do was keep him in place until I called someone to kick him out.
I wanted to be near him too. I was still confused by my attraction towards him; it scared me more than before. But I felt compelled to be with him, to make him happy.
“Lock the door before you come to bed. I don’t need my parents walking in on us.” Layton nodded his head in agreement. In record time, he locked the door and was getting into bed with me.
I turned away from him, lying down on my side. His naked chest was pressed against my back. He was only wearing a pair of shorts, and I wondered if he had run all way to my house.
I wasn’t too surprised when he placed his right hand over my waist and scooted me closer to him so that there was no space between us.
The next morning arrived far too quickly for my taste. I was lying on my stomach, and something heavy was over me, keeping me pressed to the bed.
An arm was securely wrapped around my waist, which made me freak out for a moment. A tingling sensation, like small electric shocks of pleasure, was running through my body.
He was the one who usually incited those feelings in me.
When I shuffled around in bed and landed on my back, I found Layton asleep, on top of me. I tried getting up, which made Layton stir in his sleep.
I settled with grabbing my phone from the bedside table to check the time, only to notice I had a lot of missed calls and text messages. It was just after nine, but the inbox in my phone was full with texts, most from last night.
Last night, after hearing my phone beep and ring so many times, I had put it in silent and let it go off on its own.
The last calls and texts were from Zev. I hurriedly raised the volume on my phone and typed out a message to him.
I’m okay. Sorry if I worried you. I needed to organize my thoughts. :)
I sent him the text thinking he might be asleep. It was still early after all. I tried to hear noises around my house but it was all silent, meaning my parents weren’t home.
Seconds after I sent the text, my cell phone rang loudly. When I checked the caller ID, it showed an incoming call from Zev.
The noise from my phone woke Layton up. He sat up on the bed, next to me and was looking at my phone with an annoyed expression. I quickly answered it, trying to stop the noise that was disturbing the silence of the house.
“Hey,” I said into the phone.
Layton was looking at me weirdly, raising his eyebrow. He still looked tired, and I felt bad for waking him up.
“Are you okay?” Zev asked desperately, which made Layton frown.
“I’m fine. Sorry about yesterday. I was just, I had to think.” I got up from the bed and walked over to the couch on the other side of my room.
“It’s cool, don’t worry about it. Where did you go? I was following you and then you just disappeared into thin air,” he told me, sounding genuinely curious.
Layton listened to my answer, probably hearing what Zev asked me and wanting to know as well.
“What are you talking about? I walked home,” I lied, hoping to sound convincing.
“I’m not trying to freak you out with the whole Werewolf thing, but I followed your scent. At a certain point, it was… gone,” he told me, questioning my previous answer.
“Well, I did get a ride. I don’t know if that had any influence in the whole scent thing.”
“Hmm…. It might’ve,” Zev said, not sounding sure but not able to answer the question himself.
“Zev, I have to go. I just wanted to say that I’m sorry for just up and leaving yesterday.”
“No, I’m sorry for what Layton and I did in front of you. It was unfair of us to throw that on your plate without some kind of warning.”
“It sure was surprising. And I have a lot of questions, so be ready to give me answers,” I said, my words giving way to a chuckle.
“I will princess. So, I’ll talk to you later?” he asked, his voice returning to its regular calm tone.
Layton growled when Zev called me princess.
“Yes, I’ll talk to you later. Bye Zev.”
“Bye Cass, call me if you need anything.”
“I will.” With that, I ended the call.
Layton didn’t get up from the bed. He was sitting down, resting his back on the headboard.
“If you have any questions, ask me and I’ll tell you,” Layton said, pointing at himself.
“Okay,” I replied. I offered a casual shrug, and walked back to bed. Layton’s eyes were focused on me, all the way from the couch until I got under the covers and laid down once again.
“What are you doing?” he asked with a husky voice. I was wiggling against him, trying to make myself comfortable.
“I’m taking a nap. My parents aren’t home, might as well enjoy the freedom,” I replied, shrugging and closing my eyes. I wasn’t sleepy anymore, but it felt nice to lie down in bed next to him.
“I’ll stay here with you so that you’re not alone,” Layton said, laying down facing me as well. I snuggled into his chest, feeling his tense muscles relax when they came into contact with me.
Layton placed his hand over the small of my back and moved me closer to his chest. I nestled my head in his neck and inhaled his scent.
We stayed in bed for another hour, until I got hungry. I assumed Layton would leave after I got in the shower. When I came out, he was still in my room, lying down on the bed.
Since my parents weren’t home yet, I didn’t mind that Layton was hanging out. For a moment, I wondered what he did during the weekend. He was always so serious.
Did he go out, or have fun?
“What are you looking at?” Layton asked.
“Nothing,” I quickly replied, trying to cover up the fact that I had been staring at him. “You want breakfast? I’m starving,” I said to him while brushing my hair.
“Uh, sure, what are you making?” He sounded surprised by my invitation.
“Well, I was thinking either pancakes or eggs with bacon on the side.”
Both options sounded really good, and my mouth watered just thinking about it. The last time I ate had been yesterday afternoon, with Zev at the lake.
“Make eggs and bacon. I don’t feel like eating anything sweet,” Layton told me, getting up from the bed. Even with something so normal, like breakfast, he had to make it sound like an order.
“Do you want to shower or something?”
“I’ll just use your bathroom to clean up,” he said, making his way to my private restroom.
“Maybe you should put on a shirt?”
I wasn’t looking forward to cooking breakfast while having him without a shirt in my kitchen. It would be too much of a distraction. I was sure it was a safety hazard to have an extremely hot guy, half-naked, in the kitchen while cooking.
“I ran here last night. I was only carrying a pair of shorts.”
“Do you want to borrow one of my t-shirts?” I offered.
Layton laughed, really hard. I hardly ever heard him laugh. The weird part was that I found nothing funny in my question.
“For your information, I have plenty of shirts that I think will fit you. They’re guy t-shirts,” I told him. My hand was on my hip, and I was looking at him disapprovingly.
“Why do you have guy shirts?” he asked, the laughter completely gone from his voice.
“I sleep in them sometimes. They’re comfortable,” I replied, annoyed with his tone.
“Where did you get them?”
“Uh, at the store, you know? That place you go to buy stuff. Geez,” I said, rolling my eyes at him.
I found three big t-shirts in my closet. I was sure there were more, but I couldn’t be bothered to look for them. Two were black and one was dark gray. I showed them to Layton and he grabbed the gray one and left to the bathroom.
I was finishing breakfast when Layton walked into the kitchen, smelling like my shampoo. He looked good in my shirt. He wore it better than I did. While I was swimming in it, it fit Layton smugly, hugging his strong muscular chest perfectly.
“Would it be inappropriate breakfast talk to ask you some questions about what happened yesterday?”
“What do you want to know?” Layton looked down at his food after I asked.
The way he was looking at it, with disdain, made me feel it was probably better to ask all of my questions to Zev.
“It would be nice to know some things, whatever you can tell me. But if you can’t, it’s cool. I’ll just ask Zev.”
Baiting him definitely worked. Layton looked up after I said that, and he was pissed. I knew that bringing up Zev would get a reaction out of him.
“Don’t. I’ll tell you anything you want to know.” His voice was deadly serious.
“How is it possible?” I asked.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it since I saw Zev shift. How were they able to do it?
I knew why Legens existed. I didn’t know why I was one after so many centuries of Legens being gone, but at least I knew what our purpose was.
“I don’t know exactly why we are able to shift. It just happens. We inherit it from our family. Once we turn thirteen, we can start shifting into our Wolf.”
“Does it hurt?” I asked, curious of whether the change was painful.
Every time my wings appeared, I felt a strange sensation all over my back. It didn’t hurt at all. It was refreshing to have my wings set free.
“The first time I changed, it hurt like a bitch. My transformation lasted two days. But for regular Werewolves, it can last up to two weeks. The rest of the time, we shift too quickly to feel any pain.”
His eyes seemed to be lost in a memory.
“What do you mean for regular Werewolves? You’re not regular?” The question felt so odd on my lips.
“I am a Werewolf. But there are Wolves with higher ranks than others. My father is the Alpha of our pack, meaning he’s the one of highest rank. When I turn eighteen, I will be the new Alpha.”
He had a solemn expression on his face. His explanation told me so many things about him. His behavior now made much more sense. I didn’t think Layton had much time to play.
“Now can you tell me what’s up with you and Zev?”
Layton’s expression hardened and he was clenching his fists. He narrowed his eyes at me, which were turning from their grayish blue to a dark coal color. It was something else I had to ask him about. I briefly wondered if he angered so easily because he was a Werewolf.
“Why do you care so much for him?” Layton asked, looking like he’d just tasted something very unpleasant. Now more than ever I was curious to know what had caused Zev and Layton to stop being friends, especially if they were as close as the girls from History class had claimed they’d been.
“Zev’s my friend. And I’m curious.” I shrugged my shoulders, keeping a calm façade. I didn’t want for him to think his actions were intimidating me.
“Your friendship is not what that bastard is after,” Layton growled.
“Wow, you’re mean. You know what, don’t tell me anything.”
I got up from my stool and threw my dishes in the sink. Angrily, I walked out of the kitchen and up to my room. Layton started following after me. He grabbed my arm half way up the stairs, bringing me to a halt.
“I said I would tell you everything, and I will.”
His expression softened and he loosened his hold on my arm. I narrowed my eyes at him before nodding my head and continuing to my room.
While I sat on the couch, Layton pulled the rolling chair from my desk and sat in front of me.
“Zeverus and I used to be best friends.”
“That still feels unbelievable.”
“It was a long time ago,” Layton shrugged. “Things changed.”
“We had known each other since we were little. My dad and his had been childhood friends. Even if they didn’t see each other often, the friendship remained strong. When Zeverus and I turned thirteen, we both shifted around the same time because our birthdays are in November.”
Many scenarios were running through my head, wanting to predict what happened between the two. I was trying to imagine how Layton and Zev looked when they were thirteen, probably as attractive as they were now, but in a younger boyish way.
“Things were great at first. We had more in common and our friends were shifting with us as well. During that year, we both drifted apart from our human friends. My dad warned me to be careful around them, and it was just easier to just hang out with people from the pack or if they were Werewolves.”
I wanted to high-five myself for guessing that the rest of the guys were all Wolves. It made sense that they wanted to be around their own kind.
“Zeverus and I are not from the same pack.”
“Does that mean that there is more than one pack of Werewolves living here?” I asked. I probably should have been freaked out, but I wasn’t even shaken up by his words. It was interesting to me. I liked knowing that I wasn’t the only different creature out there. In a weird way, it was comforting.
“There are two packs in this state. The line that separates the two of us is in this town. That’s why Zeverus and I live really apart. Our common ground is the town. The woods are divided, we own half and they own the rest.”
“Why not live further apart?” The US was really big. I would assume moving away would solve the problem.
“We can’t move if there are cities everywhere. We also have to consider other pack territories. Trespassing is against our laws. If you trespass without permission, it is automatic death, unless the other pack wants to spare your life. But it doesn’t really matter. There are only twelve packs in the US and they are all located in places with the biggest green areas.”
Layton sounded like he knew what was going on with the packs and territories. Tyler had told me that Layton was really smart, he just didn’t apply himself because he ‘had no one to impress but himself’. I thought it sounded cocky, but at least he really was smart.
“So, what does this have to do with Zev?” I didn’t want to drift from the topic at hand.
“Zeverus is the future Alpha of his pack,” Layton answered.
“What?” I yelled. If I had been drinking water, Layton would have been drenched. “You’re joking, right?”
Layton didn’t say anything. He continued to stare at me. His eyes were growing darker though, which was never a good sign from him.
“I’m not. His dad is the Alpha of New Elite Pack. In a few weeks, the title will pass to Zeverus.”
“Is that why you two don’t get along? Please don’t tell me you’re having a feud over sharing common ground.”
I was going to murder both of them if that was the reason they hated each other so much.
“We’re not sharing anything. I have my land and he has his. That isn’t how everything started.”
“Oh, okay,” I mumbled, waiting for him to continue.
“The summer after we changed for the first time, a group of Wolves from Zeverus’ pack attacked us. Our Beta, who is the second in command in the pack, was killed along with three other Wolves,” Layton explained.
He was angry again, his features grew dark and his knuckles had gone white from how tight he had his hands in fists. A light shake took over his body. He seemed lost in thought. I didn’t know what to do, how to stop the tension that had built up in the air around us. I interlaced my hand in his, hoping to comfort him in some way.
“What happened after that?” I asked him, not knowing if it was appropriate for me to keep prying in his business.
It made sense why he had kept it all from me. It was a painful memory for him. I just couldn’t imagine Zev hurting anyone because he was too nice.
“My father talked to Marcus, Zeverus’ dad, and he denied everything. Marcus claimed he would never attack our pack because of the lifelong friendship he and my dad shared. He said they were loyal friends and he would never betray us like that. I asked Zeverus to come clean and confess to me. I would’ve forgiven him. He was like my brother.”
Layton looked sad and angry at the same time. When I tugged on his hand, he got up from the chair and took a seat right next to me. I sat with my legs crossed, facing him.
“What did Zev say?”
“He denied it, just like Marcus had. Zeverus said they didn’t do anything. He said that if someone had gone through our territory and our pack didn’t notice, then we must’ve been going weak.”
I was rubbing Layton’s arm, trying to keep him calm. It was definitely a bad idea to be talking about what happened. It was a taboo subject and now I knew why.
“Marcus, Zeverus, and the rest of them, they all lied. I knew it was them. That day, when the Wolves attacked, my dad and I recognized one of them. Thanks to him, we knew Marcus and Zeverus weren’t telling the truth.”
“Who was he?”
“It was Liam. Liam and Zeverus are cousins. He belonged to their pack. Liam’s scent was all over our land, but Marcus was too much of a coward to come and confirm it. After the attack, we cut all our ties with New Elite. My father respected the friendship enough, so we didn’t counterattack. We just kept our distance from them.”
“I’m really sorry that this happened,” I whispered, running my hands over his clenched jaw.
Layton looked into my eyes and I could see the vulnerability in them. I placed my hand around his neck and started to lean into him. I would probably regret what I was about to do, but in that moment, I just wanted to feel him close to me.
Layton was looking down at my lips, and he pressed me closer to him. I closed my eyes and brushed my lips against his. The tingles I felt when we touched were nothing compared to how I felt when our lips touched. I could feel the electricity between us double, like little shocks that connected us together, attracting us to each other.
Layton wrapped his arms around my waist, and placed me on his lap. I ended up straddling him, with my legs on either side of his waist. I ran my hands through his hair, tugging on it lightly.
I felt my body growing excited with his touch. He was deepening the kiss and his tongue was asking for entrance, gently biting my lower lip. He kissed me with more force, sinking his tongue into my mouth and his hands tightening around my waist, grinding my lower body against him.
When I pulled away from him, I was out of breath and my lips felt swollen. I was looking into his eyes, which had kept the dark shade in them. His hair was messily sticking up, and his lips were swollen and red. I smiled, knowing he was in that dazed state because of me.
“You’re my mate,” he said, looking straight into my eyes.
“Huh?” I asked.
“Every Werewolf has a mate. It’s like a soul mate, just a lot stronger. You are mine.”
He left me speechless. What do you say when someone says something like that to you? How do you even react to that?
I remained silent for minutes, trying to consider his words and the possibility of them being true.
“I’m not lying to you. I know you feel it too. The bond isn’t as strong on you as it is on me, but the connection is still there.”
“What are you talking about? I don’t feel anything,” I blurted out. It was a complete lie, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to face what Layton was telling me.
“I know you feel it. I’ve seen you. The way you react to my touch, or how you do as I say, for the most part. All those things, it’s my Wolf calling to you.”
“What?” I stupidly asked.
“I don’t know how else to explain it. If you were a She-Wolf, things would be a lot simpler. You would know and we would have probably been mated the first day I saw you. Since you’re not, things work differently,” he said to me, shrugging his shoulders.
I got off his lap and went to the farthest side of the couch. He tried to keep me with him, but I moved too quickly for him to stop me.
“So you’re saying you would rather have a girl Werewolf than me? Well, I’m sorry you got landed with me. I’ll just make sure to stay out of your way and maybe you can undo this and find a girl that meets your expectations!” I snapped.
I crossed my arms over my chest and glared at him. I didn’t know why his words angered me so much, but I couldn’t stop it. I felt offended. I was two seconds away from kicking him out of my room when he burst out laughing. I had seen him laugh two times in the same day, over things that weren’t even funny.
“Would you mind telling me what is so funny, or would that be a bother to you as well?” I asked in a strained voice.
“You’re jealous,” he told me, with a prized smirk on his face.
“I am not!” I just about yelled.
“Yes you are.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Why would I be jealous? It’s not like I like you or anything.” His smirk wiped clean off his face and I got a smirk of my own.
‘So that’s the way to shut him up’, I thought to myself.
“I know you were jealous, but you don’t have to be. I honestly can’t even think of me being with a She-Wolf or with anyone else for that matter. It’s…” Layton said, sounding uncomfortable.
“It’s…” I mimicked, waiting for him to continue.
“It’s repulsive. Even looking at other girls feels wrong,” Layton said, cringing. I noticed a light shiver run through his body.
“Oh,” I mumbled. I hadn’t been expecting for him to say that.
“I just want you,” he finished saying in a soft voice.
I tried to keep the smile off my face but I couldn’t.
“I feel it,” I confessed. “That bond between us, or whatever it is, I feel it too,” I said, grinning at him widely.
“I know. When it comes to having a mate around, you have no idea how lucky you are that you’re not a Wolf. I’ve felt the bond since the first day I laid eyes on you. It’s hard not to jump on you every time I see you,” he admitted.
His voice had taken that strained tone, showing he was uncomfortable discussing his feelings.
I felt my face warm up, and had to look away from him in attempt to hide my blush. Since the first day I met Layton, I thought he hated me. I thought the only reason he wanted to be around me was to make my life miserable. Like Tyler had said— I was completely wrong.
“My parents and I were talking about this,” he said.
I frowned at his words. I didn’t think he would talk about us with his parents. It was strange that he had.
“Okay,” I slowly said.
“I’m the next Alpha in line. You’re my mate, which makes you the Luna of the pack, or the female Alpha. Both titles work,” he explained.
“Right,” I muttered, feeling confused by his words.
“You’re a human. It’s rare for Werewolves to mate with humans. It hardly ever happens.”
“Is that bad?” I asked, suddenly feeling nervous.
“It’s not necessarily bad, just different,” Layton replied.
“Alright,” I said.
I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to tell him, or if I should apologize for not being a Werewolf. I hadn’t asked to be Layton’s mate though, so it wasn’t exactly my fault.
“It’s just that, you will be the Luna. Things might not be as easy for us, when we mate and all that,” Layton continued, sounding unsure of his own words.
“So, is that bad?” I asked him once again. He was avoiding my question, which made me fear his answer.
“The first day at the cafeteria, I smelled your lingering scent in the table. My Wolf was going crazy because he felt his mate somewhere near. As soon as you entered the cafeteria, I caught your scent.”
I still remembered the first time I saw Layton. He was perfect.
“When I laid eyes on you, I couldn’t look away. You were so beautiful, you are so beautiful. I fell in love with you in that moment and nothing else mattered.”
I smiled at his strange declaration of love. He was a Werewolf, so that in itself was out of the ordinary.
“You were mean to me,” I told him, remembering how he kicked me out of his table, which was why I started to dislike him.
“After the initial excitement of finding you left, I noticed something. You were human.”
“So, it is a problem,” I stated.
“I wanted someone strong by my side. A human isn’t exactly on top of the food chain,” he said, not noticing how much his words were hurting me.
I wasn’t human, but being a Legen meant human life was something sacred to me. Legens used to protect humans from harm and Layton was insulting them, like if he was somehow superior.
“Does that mean a human isn’t good enough for you?”
He stayed quiet, and I took my answer from his silence. I got up and made my way to the restroom.
“I used to think that,” Layton said. His voice was so quiet, I probably wouldn’t have been able to hear him if it weren’t for my enhanced senses.
I turned around and looked at him. He was on his feet, a few steps away from me.
“Before I met you, and found out you were my mate, I used to think humans were less than me. That is what they teach us, especially if you are the Alpha, or Alpha to be. Alphas are more than a common Werewolf. To think of comparing an Alpha to a human, it just doesn’t happen.”
I didn’t say anything. I waited for him to defend himself, to prove to me that he cared. I was offended by his way of thinking and the idiots who taught him those things.
“After you left the table, Jared and the guys got after me for kicking you out. I got angry that they were defending you because I wanted to be the only one to defend you. Then when I saw you with Zeverus, I almost shifted in front of the whole school.”
“So, you realized you could overlook me being a human just because you were jealous?” I questioned, feeling anger rise somewhere in the pit of my stomach.
Layton was the only one who could change my moods so fast, who could get me so angry.
“No, I just wanted you with me. I still do. All I want is you by my side when I become Alpha. I don’t give a damn about anything else.”
Layton closed the distance between us and snaked his arms around my waist. It was hard to think clearly with him so close to me. I had so many thoughts running through my mind and the anger hadn’t receded.
“You need to leave,” I said, trying to speak firmly.
“I need to think and your presence clouds my judgment,” I told him. I pressed my hands over his chest and pushed him away from my body.
“Is that the only reason you want me to leave?” He questioned, raising an eyebrow.
“You just gave me an overload of information and I have plenty to think about,” I replied honestly.
“I’ll leave as long as you don’t talk to Zeverus while I’m gone,” Layton said.
I looked at him like he was crazy. I wasn’t in the mood for arguing so I just nodded my head in agreement.
“Fine, whatever,” I told him. He looked pleased with himself and was cynical enough smirk at me.
“I’ll come back later tonight. I still need to tell my parents that you know about us,” he said.
We were standing on the threshold of the front door.
“You didn’t tell them yesterday?”
“I wanted to tell them after I cleared things up with you. We did that, so now I’m going to talk to them.”
I walked a few steps outside, trying to give him a final push for him to leave. Before turning away from me, he leaned down. His lips brushed against mine for a few seconds, and yet he managed to leave me breathless.
He had a grin on his face when he turned away from me and headed for the trees up ahead. After a few steps, he broke out into a run, jumping in the air and shifting into his silvery gray Wolf. Just as I watched him run into the woods, I acknowledged one thing.
He had just ripped my gray t-shirt.