“What is going on here?” My dad yelled.
“Uh…” I muttered.
I hadn’t noticed I was still on Layton’s lap. I quickly shuffled off him and shakily stood up. Layton tried to get me back on his lap but I slapped his hand away.
“I want an answer. Why were you kissing my daughter?” My dad asked Layton, his voice showing just how angry he was.
I really didn’t want Layton to answer anything to my dad. I knew how he got when someone challenged him.
“Cassidy’s mine,” Layton replied, swiftly wrapping his arm around my waist.
I tried pushing him away, but he held on to me tightly.
“What do you mean she’s yours?” My dad snapped, taking a few steps closer to us.
He was glaring at the tight hold Layton had on me.
“Dad, Layton means that I’m his girlfriend,” I said.
I softly ran my hand over Layton’s chest, trying to be discreet. Layton was shaking. I was well aware that that wasn’t a good sign.
I did notice however that Layton was keeping me in front of him, partly covering him from my parents. I didn’t understand why he was doing that, until I felt him press more into my back. He was still excited from our previous make out session.
It was the wrong moment to be smiling, but I couldn’t help the grin that took over my face when I felt his member pressing against my back.
“I’ve never met you. Then you show up carrying my unconscious daughter,” my dad accused, looking between Layton and I suspiciously. “I didn’t know I had given you permission to start dating, Cassidy.”
It was strange to have my dad looking at me so serious. He usually took on that look when we were training. We had never had a boy problem, because I’d never really been interested in dating.
The only reason I didn’t laugh at what was happening was because I felt embarrassed that my parents had caught us in a compromising situation.
“Dad, just cut us some slack. We weren’t doing anything too bad,” I tried to reason.
“You weren’t doing anything too bad?” My dad repeated, harshly.
I looked down at the floor, cringing back from his words. Layton growled at my dad, so I quickly put my hand over his, trying to calm him down. I really did not need Layton going after my dad.
“If we hadn’t come in when we did, I’m not sure what we would’ve found!” My dad yelled.
“Cassidy and I didn’t do anything wrong. I kissed her. That was all. We wouldn’t do anything else because this is your home and we won’t disrespect it,” Layton steadily told my dad.
My dad walked toward Layton, looking angrier than I had ever seen him. I was scared that he would do something that would trigger Layton’s Wolf.
Layton must’ve seen the look on my dad’s eyes. He slowly began moving me so that I was standing behind him, like if he needed to protect me from my own dad.
My dad stopped in front of Layton, his scowl deeper than it had been before. Even though my dad had trained and taught me how to fight and defend myself, I always looked at him like a family man. In that moment, he looked ready to murder Layton.
“You shouldn’t be doing that with my daughter, anywhere!” My dad snapped at Layton.
If only for a second, I was glad that it stopped there. Both my mom and I sighed of relieve because both my dad and Layton had stood still. My dad had just turned to walk away, when Layton decided to speak again.
“You should feel lucky I haven’t slept with your daughter yet. Cassidy belongs to me,” Layton growled.
I wanted to slap him so hard in that moment. He just had to have the last word. Layton wouldn’t be Layton if he wasn’t in control and dominating every situation. I had known he was going to make things words.
My mom inhaled loudly, while my dad’s eyes just about popped out of their sockets. I lowered my head and tried to think of how I would excuse the last comment Layton had made. When I looked up, it was just in time to see my dad throw a punch in Layton’s direction.
Layton moved slightly to the right from the force of the impact, and he took a step back. Other than that, he didn’t look affected. I knew he wasn’t exactly thrilled with my dad hitting him, but I had been scared he would go ballistic. Instead, he just remained still.
I quickly stepped in between Layton and my dad, not wanting either of them to attack each other. Layton was shaking. I was running my hands over his chest, trying to help him stay calm, but I could feel him shaking under my hands.
My dad was holding his fist in his hand. I was betting it hurt him like hell, but he didn’t complain. Both of them were staring at each other. Layton had his usual blank expression and my dad was still glaring at him.
The silence seemed to stretch on for a long time. My mom was at my dad’s side, trying to get him to step back and put some distance between he and Layton. It didn’t matter how hard my mom and I tried to get each of them to move, they wouldn’t step away from each other.
“I am a Werewolf and Cassidy is my mate,” Layton said, breaking the heavy silence that had fallen in the room.
“Layton!” I yelled at the same time that both my parents yelled, “What?!”
“Cassidy, what is this boy talking about?” My mom asked.
My dad’s glare was replaced by a look of confusion. Slowly, he took a seat on one of the couches. The look on his face— it seemed like he was about to have a stroke.
“Dad,” I called, moving away from Layton to kneel in front of my dad.
Layton, stubborn as always, tried to get me away from my dad.
“Stop, look at what you just did,” I told him, and ignored his hand, which was resting on my shoulders.
“What is he talking about?” My dad asked, breathlessly.
“Mom, maybe you could bring him some water or something,” I said, looking at my mom desperately.
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll fix something up,” My mom said, although she didn’t take a step away from my dad.
“Mom,” I pleaded, hoping she would go and get something for my dad.
I assumed my dad, who was more open about me being a Legen, would accept the idea of Werewolves much faster than anyone else. That wasn’t the case.
I didn’t start explaining anything until my mom returned to the room and took a seat right beside my dad. I kept reassuring him that everything was okay and that I was fine.
I was at least glad that he was only looking at Layton with curiosity. I had been scared that he wouldn’t accept Layton because he was a Werewolf.
“Layton knows what I am,” I stated, not knowing where to start.
“You told him?” My dad grimly asked.
“It wasn’t by choice.”
My dad completely ignored that, and his green eyes met Layton’s grayish blue ones.
“Werewolf…” My dad whispered, shaking his head, like if he still couldn’t believe it.
“Layton, he’s my, well, I’m his…” I said, not knowing how to explain.
“Cassidy is my mate,” Layton stated firmly.
That statement, just like telling them about Werewolves, brought my parents to a halt.
It took Layton and me about half an hour to fully explain what being mates meant. Layton did most of the explaining, and I was glad for that. In his explanation, I learned a lot more things about mates and Wolves that I had no idea about. My dad was not amused, but my mom had a dreamy smile on her face.
“Werewolves really do exist,” My mom sighed.
Layton nodded in reply, although his expression remained blank.
“Why does he know about you? Why did you tell him?” My dad demanded to know.
My mom’s eyes shifted back to me, and she looked at me with the same expression as my dad.
“I already told you. I had no choice. I was with Layton and a few other friends when it happened. They’re Werewolves too,” I explained.
“When what happened? You lost control?” My dad frowned.
“My element came in, a whole year earlier than it should have. I think it’s the reason my body shut down.”
I edited out the part where Wolves were battling it out and I was involved in it. If they knew that, they would either be proud that I stood my ground or angry that I was in possible danger. Fearing the latter, I chose not to tell them about the confrontation between the packs and the Rogues.
My mom and dad both looked very shocked for a few seconds, before a grin broke out in both their faces.
“What is it?” My mom asked, excitedly.
“Fire,” I replied, grinning as well.
Layton finally cracked a smile. He was excited about my gifts. I had worried that he wouldn’t accept me, but that was far from it. Layton loved that I was a Legen, but I could tell that most of all, he loved my wings.
I spent the rest of the afternoon showing my parents my element. Since I had just woken up, they didn’t push me too hard. I kept telling them that the two days I was out gave my body enough rest. I felt restored. My protests were met by deaf ears.
Even though Layton stuck around, I could feel the tension in the air. He wasn’t happy that my dad had punched him. I knew the only reason Layton didn’t attacked my dad was because of me. My dad in return kept staring at Layton weirdly. However, the longer Layton stuck around, the nicer my dad became with him.
“So you’re an Alpha?” My dad asked, sounding amazed.
Layton nodded at him, as he wrapped his arm around my waist.
I could tell that Layton being a future Alpha really helped the case. My dad had a lot of questions and Layton seemed happy to answer them. Although the tension was still there, mainly when my dad stared at how possessive Layton was with me, he seemed to be accepting it.
I tried to distract them by talking more about what little I did know about the packs. My mom smiled slyly at me when I brought Zev up, and explained that he, just like Layton, was soon to inherit the Alpha title.
“I honestly thought you and that boy were secretly dating,” my mom commented.
“Why would you think that?” Layton interrupted, before I could get a word out.
His hard gaze focused on me, and I felt his fingers sinking into my waist.
“Well, every time he came over, they just looked like a couple,” my mom casually replied, offering Layton a warm smile.
Layton narrowed his eyes at me, while squeezing my waist roughly. I whimpered, because it had actually hurt me. He was digging his fingers into me, and I could feel his claws sinking into my skin.
“I need to talk to you— alone,” Layton practically ordered.
My parents were distracted discussing new ways to train that included the fire. I nodded my head, already predicting what the conversation with Layton would be about.
“We’re going up to my room. Is that okay?” I asked, even though I headed for the door without waiting for a reply.
My dad’s eyes found Layton, and he gave him a once over, sizing him up. I rolled my eyes at that, even though I was uncomfortable with how tight Layton was holding my hand. He was really mad.
“The door stays open. I don’t want any monkey business up there,” my dad said while my mom giggled at his words.
Layton didn’t even crack a smile. He just nodded his head, tightened his hold on my hand, and started dragging me up to my room.
It surprised me that my parents didn’t catch on to Layton’s hostile behavior. I figured it was better that they didn’t notice. I didn’t need them intervening between Layton and me just yet.
As soon as we reached my room, Layton closed the door.
“If my dad sees that the door is closed, he’s going to get mad,” I told him.
When I tried to open it, Layton slammed it shut and kept his hand pressed to it. My parents had turned on the stereo and I could hear the music all the way in my room. If they heard the door slam, they didn’t make an appearance to show for it.
“You introduced Zeverus to your parents, but you didn’t want me to meet them?” Layton questioned in an accusing tone.
His voice was steady but his features were hard and he was staring at me coldly.
“Zev is my friend.”
“And I’m your mate.”
“You’re my mate, which means there’s more pressure with you. If I brought you home, I would’ve had to introduce you as my boyfriend or something like that,” I said, defending myself.
“Something like that?” Layton asked, sounding angrier than he had before.
“You know what I mean.”
“Cassidy, is this some kind of joke to you?”
Layton slowly took a few steps closer to me, and I unconsciously took a step back.
“No! All I’m saying is that presenting a boyfriend or something is worse than bringing a friend over,” I replied.
“So you preferred to bring Zeverus than me, since I’m your boyfriend, or something?” Layton asked.
He was standing right in front of me. I felt slightly intimidated by how he was looking down at me. He was a foot taller, and he really knew how to give a threatening look. I took another step back from him, and touched the edge of the bed.
“You’re taking everything that I’m saying the wrong way,” I told him.
I placed my hands on his hard chest, and tried to push him back. He didn’t even move an inch. I could feel the electric sensation between us when I touched him. It was distracting, especially when I knew I had other things to worry about.
“What are you trying to say? Right now I’m only seeing a preference towards Zeverus that shouldn’t exist. You are mine. You belong to me,” Layton growled.
“That’s not what-” I started to say before he interrupted me.
“I don’t really care what you were going to say,” Layton said, giving me an intense look.
He wrapped his arms around my waist and roughly brought me closer to his chest. I yelped at the sudden movement, and awkwardly placed my hands on his chest.
“You are my mate, which basically means you are mine. You belong to me.”
I opened my mouth to argue with him, but Layton took that opportunity to crash his lips against mine. It took me a while to react. When my mind snapped back to reality, I tried pushing him away.
Layton held onto me tightly, roughly, digging his fingers into my waist and cutting my skin. At the same time, his lips were moving harshly against mine.
I tried shoving him away with my hands, but he held me with more force. Swiftly, he held both of my hands behind my back with one of his, while the other was still digging into my waist.
There was no question as to who was stronger when it came to force. Layton more than overpowered me. Physically, he was a lot stronger than me.
I felt bad for doing it, but I knew it was the only way. While he focused on kissing me, I used my mind to shove him away from me.
Layton tried to fight it. Damn him he was strong. I assumed it was the Alpha in him, which fought to keep us pressed together. But in the end, I won. Layton landed a few feet away from me.
It had taken a lot from me just to get him to move. He really was a strong Wolf. I had never struggled as much to move something as I had to shove Layton away using my telekinesis.
“You just used one of your gifts against me,” Layton said, narrowing his eyes at me.
I felt weak, physically and emotionally. I was starting to feel the aftermath of being knocked out for two days and of receiving my element a year too early. Things were finally decent between Layton and Zev’s pack. But everything had just gone down the drain with Layton’s jealousy.
“You made me do it.”
Layton shook his head at me, his eyes turning darker by the second.
“You disrespected me.”
“Get out of my house,” I said, while glaring at him.
Layton had the power to stare anyone down, human and Werewolf. I had seen it so many times. Even people from Zev’s pack had bowed down to Layton. He was an Alpha, after all.
But I didn’t. It was hard not to though. Something in me wanted to lower my gaze, bow my head, and beg him for forgiveness, yet I couldn’t understand why.
“No,” Layton firmly replied.
He crossed his arms over his chest, looking ten times tougher than he did before.
I didn’t know if Layton automatically carried power because he was about to become Alpha. I didn’t know if he was really strong because his personality was like that. I didn’t know if it was because we were mates.
I couldn’t deny the attraction between us, the electric pull that I had to fight to keep me from jumping into his arms. We were in the middle of an argument, but all I really wanted to do was cuddle up in his strong arms.
Layton looked angry, which was something I was used to on him. I slowly walked up to him, keeping my gaze locked with his. We stood in front of each other, while Layton tried staring me down.
“I hate being emotional.”
I mainly made that comment to myself, even though I knew Layton would be able to hear me.
I walked to my couch and sat down. I knew he wouldn’t follow. He was much too prideful to follow me if he wanted me to do as he said. I wasn’t surprised when Layton made his way towards the window.
His eyes were still on me, but they were turning softer and the color was returning them. He was calming down.
“Ever since I moved here, I’ve had to be twice as emotional for both of us, even though half of the time I don’t know what we are,” I finished voicing my thoughts.
“You’re my mate,” Layton firmly stated.
“Yes, but what does that mean for me.”
“What exactly do you think you’re doing right now?”
“I’m trying to understand this,” I said, motioning between us, “because I don’t like where this is going.”
“You are my mate, but you are disobedient,” Layton said.
I laughed— hard, at his words. Layton didn’t appreciate it. I couldn’t even believe he had just told me that.
“I think we shouldn’t be together,” I finally said, which was where I’d been getting at.
As soon as those words left my lips, I started feeling a sadness creeping into my body. I had just spoken the words, yet I already wanted to take them back. My eyes watered on their own accord, and I suddenly felt lonely.
I hardly noticed Layton moving, until I felt his presence right in front of me. I opened my eyes just as he placed his hands on my shoulders and made me stand up from the couch.
“I am presenting you to our pack this weekend. I’ll give you these days to clear up your mind. But just so that we are both on the same page, you should know that I will not allow my mate to walk away from me.”
“Don’t. I don’t want to hear it. Those thoughts of yours better go away and fast.”
“You can’t decide for both of us!” I snapped.
“I can and I just did. You’re my mate and my mate is not going to be running around like a Rogue,” he finished, just before turning away from me.
In just seconds, he had the window opened and was jumping out of it.
I hurriedly ran to my window in time to see him shred his clothes and transform into his large, grayish, silver Wolf. I could feel his anger in me. It was hitting me in waves and making me angry as well.
I wondered how a day could start out so great and end up on such a bad note.
I was pacing around my room, not knowing what to do or who to call. I wanted to talk to somebody. I couldn’t confide in my parents, not after what they walked in earlier that day.
If I called Tyler or Jared, they were going to side with Layton. They usually made me see that Layton sometimes just couldn’t control himself or his Wolf. They would claim that he was an Alpha, very dominant and possessive for that matter. In that moment though, I didn’t need that. I needed someone who would side with me. I was hurting too.
Then I thought about calling Zev. He was my best friend and I was always able to count on him. Calling him though, felt like a betrayal to Layton. Zev had been the reason we started fighting. I also felt that calling Zev would mean intruding with him and Hanna.
Since I didn’t want to feel worse about being a traitor with Layton, I ruled out calling either Nate or Micah.
I didn’t have any girl friend to count on. Ever since my first day of school, the only ones to ever be interested in approaching me were guys. That thought alone made me laugh and feel remorseful at the same time. The few girls I talked to in my classes barely classified as acquaintances and even that was pushing it.
As I kept pacing around my room I noticed a lone piece of paper in my nightstand. I smiled when I saw the name and number scribbled down messily in the ripped piece of paper.
I walked to my desk where I had left my phone earlier. After saving the number in my phone, I sent the text. It was a simple request. In those moments, I only needed someone to talk to.
Can you come to my house, please?
I quickly sent the text and left downstairs to say goodnight to my parents.
“You’re going to sleep already, munchkin?” My dad asked, as he wrapped an arm around my shoulder.
My dad was giving me a look I knew all too well. He probably noticed I wasn’t in the best of moods.
“I just- I’m not feeling good.”
“You don’t look too well,” my dad whispered, kissing my forehead lightly as my mom walked into the room.
“I just need to sleep it off. By tomorrow, I’ll be as good as new.”
Even as I said it, I heard the lie in my words. I knew my parents probably sensed it too but decided not to say anything.
“Where did Layton go?” My mom asked me curiously.
“He already left,” I replied and noticed the look my parents gave each other.
“Well, even though it’s not even ten yet….” My mom whined, letting the sentence hang.
“You should go to bed and rest,” my dad finished saying for my mom, giving her a disapproving look.
I chuckled at the pair, enjoying how easy it was to be with them. It still made me want to laugh when I thought about my dad’s behavior earlier after he caught Layton and me in that situation.
I dismissed the thought as fast as it came because the last thing I wanted in my mind was Layton.
After hugging and kissing both my parents good night, I walked up to my room.
As I got closer, I felt a presence in there. I heard as they took breaths and the steady beating of their heart.
When I opened the door to my room, the intruder turned around to face me.
“You came,” I said, shutting the door behind me.
Just to be on the safe side, I locked it as well.
“I didn’t think you would text me unless it was really urgent,” he said, taking a few steps towards me.
He looked worried. It seemed like he wanted to completely close the distance between us, but something was stopping him.
“Do you think my ideas are messed up?” I asked, feeling my tears betray me.
Although I wasn’t sobbing, tears kept rolling down my cheeks. I tried to wipe them away. As soon as I cleared one, another tear would fall.
“I’m assuming the afternoon with Layton and you didn’t go as well as everyone is thinking,” Liam said, as he embraced me in his arms.