“I’m not a Werewolf,” I said, narrowing my eyes at him.
“Yeah, that’s clear enough.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” I snapped.
“If you were a Wolf in my pack, you wouldn’t be speaking to me like that,” he replied.
“You are such a jerk,” I said, shaking my head, and walking away from him.
I started rummaging through my closet, searching for clothes to shower. I needed to relax, and the more time I spent with Layton, the more we would argue.
“I’m going to shower. When I come back, you better be gone.”
I walked into the bathroom, without waiting to hear his response, not that he bothered to speak.
My shower ended faster than I’d like. I wanted to stay in there for a long time, but although the water was relaxing, all of my thoughts kept drifting back to Layton.
He didn’t leave. I waited and waited for him to go, but I felt his presence in my room. I made more time by brushing my hair and then my teeth.
When I finally came out of the bathroom, Layton was still there, sitting down in my couch. I rolled my eyes at him, but ignored him otherwise.
After flicking off the lights, I got into bed.
It was hard to find sleep while he was in the room. He didn’t talk or move from the spot in the couch, but I could feel his stare on me.
A part of me, a very small part, wanted him next to me. After how he behaved earlier, I wasn’t going to ask him to join me. If he left, he’d just make it easier for both of us.
I would be able to find some peace. I kept debating on whether I wanted him in the room, in my bed, or simply gone.
About ten minutes later, I heard his footsteps crossing the room. I didn’t turn to face him, but I heard him shedding his clothes. He set them aside and slowly got into bed with me.
I smiled, only because I knew he couldn’t see my face.
I guessed that inwardly, despite his attitude, I would rather have him next to me than gone.
He slipped his arm under the cover and placed his hand firmly on my waist. With swift movements, he moved me so that I was pressed against his chest.
“I’m sorry,” Layton apologized, leaving a small kiss just below my earlobe.
“For what?” I asked, although it was more to tease him.
It was too hard to be mad at him when he had calmed down.
“For being a jerk?” He said, sounding unsure.
I turned over so that I was facing him. His features softened when he caught a glimpse of my lips, which were spread into a smile.
“You are a jerk,” I told him.
“I know,” he said.
I was surprised, but didn’t pull away when he leaned towards me. It seemed like he was going to kiss me, but he nuzzled his nose against mine instead. While I smiled at him, he chuckled huskily and tickled my sides.
“Stop,” I said in between giggles.
“You really want me to stop?” He asked, nestling his head in my neck.
I could feel his teeth grazing my skin, but he didn’t bite down. His actions made a shiver run through my body, which made Layton tense.
“I really am sorry,” he apologized again, his voice growing serious.
“Zev hugged me before he left. It’s why his scent was all over me. That’s all,” I told him.
Layton had asked me to keep Zev away, and I had promised not to see him. After Layton apologized, I felt like he deserved an explanation.
A smile returned to his lips, and he pressed me closer to his chest.
“I wish you two would be friends again,” I whispered softly, running my hand over the side of his face.
“Don’t say that,” Layton sharply said.
“It would be good for both of you.”
“I’ve let some things that you do slip, even when I don’t approve of them. But I don’t want to talk about Zev, and I’m not interested in his friendship,” Layton said with a blank expression.
“You two would be great friends, and Zev is awesome,” I continued to press.
I panicked when he got up from the bed and grabbed his clothes.
“I’m leaving. I’ll call you when I can,” he said.
Layton turned to look at him, but then continued on his way towards the window. It was ironic that I was now the one asking him to stay while he wanted to leave.
I quickly jumped from the bed and ran towards the window, trying to block Layton’s path.
“I’m not letting you out,” I told him, crossing my arms on my chest and puffing it out.
“Get out of my way Cassidy or I’ll move you out.”
I smiled at his threat. If Layton witnessed me pushing him back with my mind, without even touching him, he would definitely be freaked out.
“You can try, but I’m really strong,” I grinned at him, with a mischievous look. I was hoping to lighten the mood.
“Really?” Layton asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“Yup, I can totally kick your butt. I’m just giving you the option.”
I couldn’t help but grin when Layton smirked at me.
“You do know that I can move you out of the way just with a light push, right?”
“I would like to see you try,” I taunted.
“What if I do?”
“I’ll listen to you for a whole day,” I offered.
“Make that a week and we have a deal,” he said, cocking an eyebrow.
I thought about it for a moment, wondering how bad it could be. Layton was usually bossy, so it wasn’t like his offer would make much of a difference.
“Deal,” I said, outstretching my hand for him to shake.
“Deal,” he repeated, pulling on my hand and crashing me to his chest.
“Nice distraction,” Layton told me, pecking my lips.
I grinned widely at him. He’d figured it out, but I didn’t care. He had stayed and it was all that mattered.
“Come on. You’re interrupting my precious hours of sleep,” I whined, sticking out my tongue at him.
He was making me tug on his arm to bring him to bed, putting all his strength in standing still. After a few moments of struggling and failing to make him move, he finally took a step towards the bed.
“Weak,” he muttered in between fake coughs.
“I’ll show you weak,” I said, narrowing my eyes at him.
“You are showing me weak,” he told me, his voice full of humor.
“Whatever,” I snapped, and walked to the bed without him.
I heard him chuckle lowly, before he followed after me.
I woke up Sunday morning feeling well rested. The night before I’d gone to bed early and it had paid off. When I opened my eyes, I found Layton staring at me with an expression I couldn’t describe. I waited for him to explain why he was awake, staring at me, with a weird look.
“You look really innocent when you’re sleeping.” Layton caressed my cheek with the outside of his hand. It felt strange to have him act like that. He wasn’t usually sweet or anything like it, and I didn’t know how to react.
“Are my mom and dad here?”
Layton reluctantly moved away from me so that I could sit up.
“Yeah, they’re here. They haven’t woken up yet.”
He was still looking at me funny.
“I’m gonna shower. You can leave if you want. They aren’t working today so they’ll be coming into my room soon enough.”
I grabbed a pair of jean shorts and a nice dark green tank top. My eyes were emerald green, and my mom usually convinced me to buy clothes that matched my eyes. It was something crazy about her, but I had to admit it gave us good times.
“Maybe I should stick around and meet them,” Layton muttered.
My heightened hearing allow me to catch every single word of his comment. I turned to face him, hoping he was joking.
He wasn’t. His face was serious and he was looking at me expectantly.
“You can’t just stay here and go downstairs. They’ll know you slept over,” I told him, high fiving myself for my brilliant excuse.
“I could come back later,” Layton said, shrugging.
“Today… just isn’t a good day. I’m going to be busy all day and I haven’t seen my parents too much lately. Since we moved, they work most of the day and hardly have any free time.” I lowered my voice and might have even pouted.
I was trying to play any card I had to keep him from meeting my parents. Having them know Zev, who was my friend, was one thing. But having Layton meet them was something else. I didn’t know what to call him, and I wasn’t sure what our relationship was.
Was he my friend? Was he more than that?
“Okay. I could come over to meet them next weekend then. And while we’re at it, I could take you home to meet my parents,” Layton suggested, but there was an affirmation in his tone.
“Yeah, another time sounds great,” I said, leaving the date open for discussion.
Layton nodded at me and closed the distance between us. Right after he wrapped his arms around my waist, his lips came down on mine. When I noticed he started getting more into the kiss, I lightly pushed him away.
“I need to shower,” I said, and held up my clothes.
When I got out of the shower, Layton was already gone.
I was downstairs having cereal when my parents showed up. Since they had been out all week, my mom and I spent most of the day doing house cleaning, while my dad worked on the yard.
By the time the afternoon rolled around, we were all tired, but content. I was happy to have them there, and I was sure they felt the same. We ended the day by huddling around in the game room watching movies.
I wasn’t necessarily excited when Monday morning came along. I cursed the alarm, blaming it for waking me up. Layton had called me the night before to tell me he wasn’t coming over.
The call ended up going until two in the morning.
Layton was quiet during most of the call, but anytime I brought up hanging up, he asked me a question and I set off ranting about this or that. I didn’t see the purpose of it, but he had been dragging on our mostly one-sided conversation.
My drive to school was full of complaints to myself, about school and why it had to exist in the first place.
I arrived at school just as the first bell rang. I sluggishly walked to my locker, not even wanting to get there. On my way, Micah caught up to me. There was a smirk planted on his face, and he looked too cheery for a Monday morning.
“You look tired,” he told me.
In that moment, he grabbed my shoulders and moved me out of the away. I was about to crash with a classroom door. It reminded me of the time Zev had done the same thing, on my first day of class, except Micah’s hold was ten times rougher.
“I’m sleepy,” I yawned and Micah smiled, shaking his head.
“Did you have trouble sleeping last night?”
We arrived at my locker and I gave Micah the combination so that he could open it for me. I slid down to the ground and tried to take a ten second nap before class.
“I was forcibly kept awake,” I replied, without giving specifics.
Micah took the books from my messenger bag and placed them in my locker. I pointed out the ones I needed for my first three classes, and he grabbed them for me.
“Do you need help?” He asked me, with a teasing smile on his lips.
I took the hand he was holding out for me, putting all of my weight on him, and got up from the ground. Micah didn’t even look faced with how much I was dragging him down. I had to admit, he really was strong.
Layton arrived to class at the same time as Micah and me. When Layton noticed Micah by my side, he frowned and roughly grabbed my bag from him. Micah rolled his eyes at Layton’s behavior. I giggled, feeling amused by it all.
“What did you do yesterday?” We had just taken our seats in the classroom when Layton started up the conversation.
The teacher wasn’t there yet, and most of the class was buzzing with noise.
“What I told you last night, basically. It was cool to see my parents. I missed them,” I said, and rested my head on the desk.
It felt fresh against my skin, and I was reveling on that.
“Are you okay? You look sick,” Layton said, placing his hand on my forehead.
He left it for a few seconds, a frown forming on his face.
He didn’t get a chance to speak, because Nate walked into class just then. I picked up my head and grinned at him. Nate gave me a grin of his own, and took his seat by my side.
Layton usually made a snarky comment or glared at Nate when he sat by me, but today, he kept his gaze on me.
“Cassidy, you’re burning up,” Layton said, worriedly.
His hand still hadn’t left my forehead. At his comment, I pulled away from him.
“I’m okay. I feel fine, just a little sleepy,” I told him.
“I’m taking you home.” Layton got up and he was outstretching his hand for me to follow him.
“I don’t want to go home,” I told him.
I put my head back down on my desk, but turned to face Nate instead. He was also giving me that worried look, which only annoyed me more.
Nate’s eyes were focused on me. He reached over and pressed his hand on my forehead. Layton’s growl came in that exact moment. He quickly got up and stood in front of me.
“Don’t touch her,” Layton lowly growled.
“I was just checking her temperature. You’re right, she’s running a fever.”
“I already figured that out,” Layton said, turning back to face me.
“I’ll get your stuff. Come on, we’re going home.” Layton was already picking up my book bag and putting it over his shoulders. He shoved my math book inside, before holding his hand out for me to take.
“Can we please just stay? If I feel bad later on, I’ll tell you and we can go home,” I told Layton, giving him my best puppy eyes.
He groaned, looking indecisive.
“Please?” I begged once more. I knew he had the power to cause a scene and force me to get out of there with him. I needed to play nicely.
“You know, you’re supposed to be doing what I say without complaints,” Layton grumbled and went back to his seat.
The teacher had another student pass out a worksheet for the day. I was lucky I didn’t have to pretend to pay attention to a lesson for a whole period. I quickly finished the worksheet and put my head down, trying to take a nap before my next class.
It seemed like just minutes later when someone was shaking me. I lazily opened my eyes to find a worried looking Layton kneeling right next to my desk, gazing at me.
“The bell just rang. Let’s go.” He grabbed my hand, making me stand up. I walked next to him, feeling worse than I had before.
“We should go home,” Layton insisted, speaking softly.
I was distracted by Zev passing by. When he caught on to Layton and me nearby, I waved at him. He made his way in our directed after he spotted us.
“What’s wrong?” Zev asked, the outside of his hand going to my forehead.
Why was everyone feeling my forehead like if the only thing that makes a person sick was having a fever?
I could have been dying and not have a fever, and they probably wouldn’t have believed me.
Layton seemed irritated with Zev’s arrival. He pushed me closer to his side and wrapped his arm tight around my waist.
“I’m fine, but I feel lousy today,” I told Zev, giving him my best smile.
Zev only frowned at my sad attempt at pretending to be okay.
“You should go home. It looks like you need to rest and the fever isn’t exactly helping,” Zev said.
“I already told her we should go home, but she’s being stubborn,” Layton told Zev, sounding defensive.
“I’m going to class.” I let go of Layton’s hand and started walking away. Both of them followed me but said nothing else.
I got to English class barely in time. I had to force Layton and Zev to leave, promising both that I’d tell them in case I felt worse. They didn’t look happy, but still left after I shooed them away.
“You look worse,” Micah bluntly stated and Nate nodded in agreement.
I glared at the pair, claiming conspiracy against me from everyone.
“I feel fine. I’m just tired,” I grumpily replied.
During Art, all of the guys were bugging me to go home. I was still not talking to Nick, so whenever he said something, I would give him my best glare and he would shut up. I tried to concentrate on the project at hand, but I could literally feel myself getting worse.
The fever was making me feel hot, even though it was fresh outside and they had the AC on in school. My throat was dry and my muscles hurt.
I had felt great the night before. Everything changed all of a sudden. My body felt like if I had been run over by a huge truck and then ran a marathon right after.
By the time lunch came around, I couldn’t even deny it to myself that I must have been sick. The fever was coming on stronger.
Zev was casually leaning on my locker when I approached him.
“I’m going home,” I told him while I shoved my stuff in my locker.
“It’s about time. I’m surprised you’re even able to walk.”
I thought about his comment for a moment. Maybe if I was a human, I wouldn’t have been able to walk. Since my defenses were stronger, due to being a Legen, I could still do pretty much everything. I felt wary that I wasn’t playing the part of a human well, so I tried to fix that problem.
“I can barely walk. My body hurts and the fever seems higher than it was this morning,” I told Zev, only really lying about being able to walk.
If it wasn’t for how sleepy I felt or the fever, the rest of me was in perfect shape.
“I’ll take you home,” Zev said.
He grabbed my hand and began making his way towards the entrance of the school.
“No, I need to take my car. My parents are going to wonder what happened to it,” I said, taking out the keys from my messenger bag in the process.
“I’ll drive you home and have one of the guys take my car to my house. I can just run home after,” Zev said.
I gave him a thankful smile. I really was in no mood to drive.
It was ten minutes after lunch when we made it to my car. Just then, I got a text from Layton.
Where are you?
I replied quickly, not wanting to have him break down the school looking for me.
I’m going home.
My phone started ringing in my hand after I replied. It was Layton calling me. Zev was next to the passenger door, waiting for me to get in the car.
Layton didn’t waste time with pleasantries when I answered his call.
“I’ll take you home, where are you?” Layton asked. I knew he was heading our way while he was talking to me.
“I’m in my car, about to leave. Zev’s taking me home,” I told him.
I assumed he was going to get mad, but I didn’t want to lie to him. Layton would detect Zev’s scent either way, like he had done the last time he was in my room.
“I told you to stay away from him, Cassidy. Stay there, I’m on my way,” he told me, sounding pissed off.
I closed the phone and turned to look at Zev.
“As long as you go home and rest, I’m happy,” Zev said, helping me in the car.
“Layton wants to take me home,” I told Zev, quietly.
“I heard. It’s okay. After all, he’s your mate. He’s just worried about you.”
I nodded at him, and got out of the car to give him a quick hug
“Thanks,” I said, giving him the brightest smile I could muster. It was hard, considering I felt like crap. Zev smiled back and helped me back into the car.
“No problem, princess.”
Zev gave me back the car keys and closed the door. He leaned next to the door, probably waiting for Layton to arrive.
Layton came out the double doors, almost running to my car. Zev didn’t leave until Layton was sliding into my car.
“Are you okay?” Layton grabbed my shoulders and started scanning his eyes over my body.
“I’ve been better.”
Layton gave me a bone crushing hug. I awkwardly hugged him back. It was nice to have him pressed so close to me, but he really was strong.
“I told you to tell me. Why were you about to leave with him?” Layton asked. Since I was sick, his tone wasn’t as angry or demanding as usual.
“I started feeling worse in Art. When I saw Zev, he offered to take me home and I just accepted,” I told him.
If I wasn’t feeling as sick, I might have complained about how unfair Layton was being with Zev. In that moment though, I just wanted to go home and sleep.
“At least now we’re going there,” Layton said.
He interlaced my hand with his, gave me a light kiss on my cheek, and turned on the ignition of my car. Layton held onto my hand the entire ride home. Even though I was sick, his gesture and how gentle he was being, made my insides warm and my stomach do somersaults.