“Why did you do that?” I yelled at him.
I got on my feet and away from him as soon as his arms disentangled from my waist. At first, everything around me felt like it was moving in circles. It took me a moment to get my balance and be able to walk. When I was sure I wouldn’t face plant on the floor, I made my way towards the kitchen sink.
Layton’s lips had my blood on them. When he noticed I looked at his lips, he licked them and gave me a sheepish look.
“I want you at the pack meeting today. I couldn’t take you if you didn’t have my claim. I needed to do it.”
He was acting like if his attack was normal. I felt angry at him, but most of all, the pain wouldn’t go away. If anything, it kept getting worse.
I rinsed the bite with warm water and pressed some paper towels over it. I had to be careful because even the smallest contact made my skin burn.
It wasn’t only the pain that was worrying me though. I was scared that the bite mark would heal and Layton would see it happen. I hadn’t told him anything about my gifts or that I wasn’t really a human. If my bite started healing on its own, Layton was going to freak out.
Twenty minutes after Layton had bitten me made no difference. The bleeding hadn’t completely stopped and it hurt just the same. I had taken a seat in the booth.
Layton kept passing me clothes to put over the wound. After a couple of minutes, they ended up drenched in my blood.
He looked really worried. He stayed near me for the most part. He was kneeling in between my legs, with his hands anxiously running up and down my thighs or on my sides.
Whenever it seemed like too much for him, he would get up and start pacing the room.
After a while, the blood stopped. We both let out a sigh of relief, only to have the blood start up once again. It went like that for another hour.
I wasn’t sure how much blood I had lost, but at a certain point I just felt like dozing off. My arms felt numb and I could hardly concentrate on whatever Layton was saying.
I thought about calling my dad, but that didn’t work out too well. His phone was off and I knew it would stay like that until he was out of work.
“This is not supposed to be happening,” Layton said, worriedly.
I had never seen him look like that. I had seen him angry, grumpy, and even laughing. But seeing him truly worried about something was really strange.
“What usually happens?” I asked.
I ran my hands through his hair, trying to find a way to comfort him. It didn’t help to have him stressed out if I was already feeling sick.
“You’re bleeding too much. I’m surprised you haven’t passed out.”
Layton removed the cloth I had over the bite and examined my neck.
“Is it because I’m different?” I asked him, not wanting to say the word ‘human’.
“It still shouldn’t bleed so much. I didn’t do it near anything important. The bite was only deep enough to claim you, not to hurt you.”
Layton sounded unsure. I was aware it was because I was practically bleeding to death.
“It hurts, but I don’t feel too sick.”
I thought that it would ease Layton but instead, he widened his eyes and possibly looked worse. It was then when I thought I probably should’ve edited out the part where I said the bite hurt.
“Let’s go,” he ordered.
“Where are we going?” I asked, following after him.
I was much slower and I could barely move. When Layton caught on to it, he stopped and offered me a small smile. It was reassuring, although I was more worried about him.
Layton smoothly picked me up from the ground.
“My territory. I have no idea why this is happening.”
Layton’s house deserved the title of a mansion. It was three or four times the size of my house. It had taken us about twenty minutes to arrive. It would’ve taken us longer if Layton hadn’t been driving like a maniac.
He didn’t waste time after we arrived. Once again he took me in his arms and headed for the front door. He was moving a lot faster than a human should. I knew it was his Werewolf speed giving him the advantage.
Despite how weak I felt, I allowed myself to look at everyone outside as we blurred past them.
Jackson and Nick were right next to the front door. When they saw Layton and me, their eyes widened in surprise.
“What happened?” they both asked simultaneously.
“Call my dad and the pack doctor. Now!” Layton ordered Jackson.
Layton didn’t wait around for his order to be complied. He ran with me upstairs.
I assumed that the room he took us to was his. His scent was stronger in his room than any other place in the house.
Layton gently laid me down in the bed and took a seat right next to me. He touched the outside of his palm to my forehead. I couldn’t tell if I was running a fever, but my body felt warm.
When he noticed the piece of cloth on my neck had gotten soaked, he handed me another one.
I hadn’t realized that Nick had followed us into the room.
“Is she okay?” Nick asked, looking at me with a worried expression.
There was a body-sized mirror to the side, and I got to see myself there.
My shirt was stained with blood, my long hair was messy and all over the pace, and my face was paler than usual. The area under my eyes had turned a light purple color. My lips for some reason looked between a purplish, reddish color.
I looked bad, sickly.
“What kind of stupid question is that?” Layton glared at Nick.
I felt bad for Nick, because he was only worried about me. I knew his intentions were good, not that I was forgetting I was still mad at him.
“I’m fine, Nick. We just had a little accident,” I told him, smiling as best as I could, even though my voice sounded croaky.
He didn’t seem to believe me but I appreciated his silence. He had probably stayed quiet to avoid another attack from Layton.
A man who looked a lot like Layton walked into the room not even five minutes later.
“What happened, Layton?” He asked.
When his eyes landed on me, he made his way in my direction. He took a seat beside me. Just like Layton, he checked my forehead and lowered his hand down to my neck.
“How does the mark feel?” The man asked me.
I assumed he was John, Layton’s father. They looked so alike.
“It hurts a little,” I answered, my eyes not leaving Layton. He caught on to what I was trying to tell him, and immediately came to sit on my other side. He took ahold of my hand and gently pressed me closer to him.
“When I bit her, she didn’t react how she was supposed to. The pain hasn’t seized. If anything, it has gotten worse. And the blood doesn’t let up either,” Layton told his dad, desperately.
John, Layton’s dad, looked worried. He was frowning at the bite in my neck.
“We’ll wait for Peter to get here. He shouldn’t be long,” he told Layton.
“So you’re Cassidy, my son’s mate?” He asked.
It seemed like he was trying to distract me from the pain, although at that point, I felt like Layton was the one who needed it the most. He looked really worked up.
“I am,” I shyly replied. I wasn’t used to being called somebody’s ’mate’.
“I’m John, Layton’s father and Alpha of this pack,” he said, sounding proud of his title.
“What happened to her?” The pack doctor, Peter, asked as soon as he stepped into the room.
The blood had stopped for a good while. Both Layton and John significantly relaxed when it did.
“I marked her a few hours ago. It hurt her a lot and she hasn’t stopped bleeding. She’s lost a lot of blood,” Layton told the doctor, while caressing my cheek.
“I see,” Peter said, as he started examining the bite mark in my neck.
He didn’t say anything, but I could see the creases forming in his forehead. Layton let out a growl when the Peter grabbed my wrist to check my pulse.
“Couldn’t you check that in her neck?” Layton snapped at him.
While Peter pulled back from me, John was scowling at Layton.
“Let him do his job or step out of the room,” John said to Layton in a warning.
Layton growled at his father too, but he didn’t leave. If anything, he pressed me closer to his side. It felt strange, and the way Layton was holding me was too intimate.
It took Peter about a minute before he continued examining me. The air in the room was tense, and Layton had not stopped glaring at him.
“Is it because she’s human?” Layton asked.
Every time Layton said that I was a human, I cringed at the words. I hated to be lying to him, but I just didn’t feel ready to tell him the truth.
He had told me he was a Werewolf. It was the biggest secret he could tell anyone who wasn’t a shifter, yet I couldn’t bring myself to do the same.
“No, there is nothing different when a Wolf marks a She-Wolf to when he marks a human. She’s not supposed to react like this.”
The doctor made someone bring me some orange juice and he gave me some vitamins to take.
“I don’t understand how she’s awake if she’s lost all the blood that you say she has lost,” the doctor said.
This time when Layton growled, the doctor completely backed off from the bed.
“Are you trying to imply that I lied?” Layton asked him through gritted teeth.
He’d gotten up from the bed as well and was slowly approaching Peter.
“That wasn’t what I meant at all,” Peter said, holding up his hands defensively. “I’m just curious to how she’s managed to lose all that blood and still be awake. She’s a human,” the doctor replied, before he turned to face me.
“You’re not a Werewolf, right?” He asked me.
Layton growled and went to attack Peter. If John hadn’t stepped in the way, I wasn’t sure what Layton could’ve done to the poor doctor.
“She’s human! Don’t you see she’s not healing?” Layton growled at him threateningly.
He sounded really worked up. I thought he would shift into his Wolf.
Although I was slightly worried for Peter’s safety, John seemed to have it under control. Instead, I focused on what Layton had said.
I hadn’t healed, yet. I knew I was going to heal sooner or later and it worried me that it would happen and they would notice.
“Can you put gauze to cover it up?” I interrupted them.
I hadn’t even noticed that Layton was still getting after Peter and John was still trying to hold him off from the doctor.
“Yes, I can do that,” Peter quickly said, and he started working on cleaning my neck and covering it up.
Layton seemed like he still wanted to let some steam out, but poor Peter was already red. While he was cleaning up my neck, I could feel his shaky hands working on me.
“He can get grumpy,” I told him.
I chuckle, so that Peter knew it was alright to do so. When Peter did laugh a little, Layton growled at him.
“Layton, stop it,” I scolded him.
Layton just gritted his teeth, but he didn’t say anything back. When he went back to sit at my side, Peter visibly relaxed.
“Since you’re human, it will take longer to heal. Once it does, you will only have the mark of Layton’s teeth faintly on your skin. The mark is his claim on you, so don’t worry about that,” Peter told me.
“What about the blood she lost?” Layton asked him.
“She seems fine. I don’t know how or why, but she’s okay,” Peter replied, looking at me in amazement.
“I can’t leave Cassidy,” Layton told his dad.
The pack meeting was about to start and Tyler had told me earlier in school that Layton had to be there. I felt bad that because of me, he had to miss his meeting.
Peter had already left. John had stayed behind to ask me questions about myself, which felt strange. He was interested in everything I said. I hadn’t been expecting that.
He was really nice. For some reason, I thought he would hate that I wasn’t a Werewolf. John didn’t even seem to mind though.
“No, you can’t,” John agreed.
“Beth, my mate, has been dying to meet you. I’ll send her up here to say ‘hello’ when she gets home,”
John left the room promising he’d be back soon.
“How long do pack meetings usually last?” I asked Layton.
We were both lying down on his bed. He was holding me in his arms, and I was resting my head on his chest.
“Not long, an hour at most.”
Layton was running his hands through my hair and I could feel myself relaxing with his touch.
“Will they be mad that you’re not there?”
Layton shook his head. “They’ll understand. My father already announced that I found my mate, and they know you’re human.”
“Do they hate it?”
It was something that still made me feel insecure. I really didn’t want them to hate me for not being a Wolf.
“They don’t care. You’re their Luna, it’s all that matter to them,” Layton replied.
He cupped my cheek and made me look up at him. There was a hard expression on his face. It seemed like he was about to say something, but we were interrupted before he got the chance.
‘Where is she?’ A woman yelled down the hall.
“Great,” Layton muttered.
“Who’s that?” I asked him just as a woman barged into the room with a grin on her face.
“Mom,” Layton said, nodding his head.
“Are you Cassidy?” Layton’s mother asked.
She seemed really excited and hyper.
“Yeah?” I answered, sounding unsure.
“She’s beautiful!” She told Layton while approaching the bed.
When she was next to me, she smiled even wider and gave me a bone crushing hug. I was surprised when I actually found it hard to breathe for a moment. She was strong.
“Mom! Let her go, she’s hurt!” He snapped at her.
When Layton gave her a light push, she pouted, which was another thing that threw me off balance.
“What happened, hun?” She asked when her eyes landed on my neck.
“I’ll tell you later,” Layton told her, nodding to the door. “Don’t you have a meeting to be getting to?”
“Ah, all right,” Layton’s mom frowned, as she got off the bed. “I’m going, I’m going. I’ll see you two love birds later,” she said while winking at me.
I didn’t know what to do, so I just smiled back at her.
“I’m Beth, by the way,” Layton’s mom said, before leaving the room and shutting the door behind her.
“Sorry about that. She’s really excited that I found my mate,” Layton said, moving me over his chest like we had been before.
“I can tell,” I said.
I was unconsciously running my hands over his chest.
“Since the first day I told her I saw you, she’s been nagging me to bring you here. My dad too, but my mom was more persistent.”
I’d been running my hands over his chest for a few minutes when I suddenly felt him stiffen under me. I picked up my head and looked down at him.
Layton had closed his eyes, and his breathing had picked slightly picked up.
“Are you okay?” I asked, moving closer so that I had my hand on the side of his face.
“My Wolf is getting a little excited with having you close. My thoughts aren’t exactly helping.”
My face warmed up when the realization of what he was saying dawned on me. I tried to look down below without him noticing. When I did, I loudly took a breath. I could see the bulge in his pants.
He opened his eyes when he heard me take a breath. Faster than humanly possible, he sat up and faced the other way. The back of his neck was red so I knew he must’ve been blushing.
I was completely useless when it came to things like that. I knew he was embarrassed and it was because of my reaction. I moved closer to him slowly, waiting to see if he would stop me. He didn’t move, but I heard as he tried taking breaths to calm down.
I wrapped my arms around him from behind. He didn’t pull away, so that was probably a good thing. I was glad that he relaxed under my touch.
“I’m sorry about that. I was just surprised,” I whispered in his ear.
“It’s my fault. I can’t control it. Being near you, even in the same room, wakes up my Wolf. And well, I want you near me too. I want you in all ways possible.”
I knew what he meant, but I didn’t comment on it.
He turned around after calming down and looked at me apologetically. Kissing him seemed like a bad idea after what had just happened. We were still in bed, and we were alone.
“You don’t have to be scared,” he told me.
I didn’t stop him when he got my hand and tugged me closer to him. We were sitting next to each other.
“I’m not scared.”
“I can tell that you are.”
“I don’t want to do that yet,” I said, motioning around us, not knowing how to explain that I wasn’t ready for the next step in our relationship.
“Okay,” he said, brushing his lips on mine very gently. I barely felt him pressed against me.
“You’re leaving?” I asked, because he was getting up from the bed.
“I need a cold, cold shower,” he told me, with a grin on his face.
I chuckled, but I couldn’t help the warmth that was creeping onto my face.