I was sitting on my floor with my back resting on the couch. Liam was in front of me, sitting on one of my colorful bean bags.
I kept making fun of how funny he looked sitting there. I laughed even harder when Liam started acting girly. He was doing it to amuse me, and I really appreciated that.
“I know why I’m really here,” Liam said, his voice turning serious.
“And why are you really here?” I asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“You want me to be your late booty call, a little action on the side. Maybe Layton can’t handle you,” he said, smirking at me.
I laughed out loud at his words to the point where a few tears slid down my cheeks.
“No need to cry for me, baby. I’m here and I’m all yours,” he said, stretching out his arms widely.
I laughed even harder when he said that.
“Uh huh, that’s why you’re here,” I said in between laughs.
“You know you just missed me,” Liam teased.
“Yes, I missed you too much,” I said, in an overly dramatic voice.
Liam chuckled at my words, and made a heart with both of his hands.
“All the girls want a piece of Liam,” he said.
“I’m sure they do,” I muttered, sarcastically.
“Oh I know they do,” he said, nodding his head suggestively.
“You are so bad,” I said, while throwing a pillow at him.
He easily caught it, and threw it back at me.
I wasn’t too surprised when Liam suddenly sobered up and his featured hardened. I sensed the interrogation coming, although I was slightly dreading it.
“I’ve been here for over an hour and you haven’t told me what happened,” Liam said, cocking an eyebrow at me.
“I’m sorry that I called you. I just, I didn’t know who else to call,” I admitted, lowering my head.
“I don’t mind that you called. I’m just worried why you did.”
“It’s easy to make fun of you and I needed entertainment,” I shrugged, playfully.
“So I’m entertainment?”
“Yup, I needed something to laugh at and them bam, you popped into my head,” I replied, grinning.
“Ha ha, and ha. Aren’t you a funny one,” Liam said, fake scowling me.
“I know right?” I replied, ignoring his sarcasm.
“Going past how ‘funny’ you are,” he said, putting air quotes on the word funny, “why are you ignoring my question?” Liam asked, giving me an expectant look.
“You haven’t asked a question.”
I gave him a soft smile, and Liam just chuckled.
“Fine, what happened between you and Layton? It must’ve been drastic if you decided to call me.”
“You know, when you were all mean and evil, you reminded me of a lot of Layton, except he was a bit nicer,” I told Liam.
“What about now?”
“Now you remind me of Zev, only he’s ten times more awesome,” I said, a grin playing on my face.
“Yeah yeah, Zeverus is great,” Liam said in a sarcastic tone, moving his hand in a shooing motion.
“Now that you had fun comparing me to guys who I’m obviously better than— tell me what happened,” Liam said, his serious expression returning.
I took a few moments to settle my thoughts, which were jumbled up even to me.
“I’m not sure if things will actually work out between Layton and me,” I confessed, my voice breaking as I said that.
I felt weak. My feelings for Layton were making me weak and I hated that. All the trainings I went through with my parents, the feeling of being different, all the times I stayed away from people who would make me vulnerable— it had all crumbled up as soon as I met Layton.
“Do you feel the bond, his pull towards you?” Liam asked.
“I do,” I replied, shaking my head and giving a dry chuckle.
“Do you love him?”
“I, I do.”
“Do you want to work things out?” Liam questioned, raising his eyebrow.
That was where I got stuck. Why was I the one to always give in? There was no reason for Layton to see everybody as a threat against him.
“I don’t know,” I finally replied to Liam’s question.
“You wanna go for a run?” Liam asked me, a mischievous smile suddenly playing on his face.
I grinned at him, already liking the idea.
Liam and I could easily sneak out through the window. I thought it was probably better if we did leave. Liam and I had been making a lot of noise. I was surprised my parents hadn’t gone in to check on me.
It only took a minute before Liam and I were jumping out the window. It was a fresh night, but I loved the cold air hitting my skin. We were freely running through the woods. I was ahead, but Liam was a few steps behind me.
“Do you think you can catch me?” Liam asked, his voice not sounding out of breath in the slightest.
“You’re behind me. Heck yeah I can catch you,” I yelled back.
Right after saying that, Liam passed me. He laughed when he caught sight of my frown. I didn’t expect him to pass me so easily or so quickly.
“You should see your face right now! Priceless,” Liam yelled back at me, laughing his ass off.
I picked up my speed and caught up to him with no effort. Even though I was starting to pant, it felt good to be running freely.
When Liam noticed I had caught up to him, he kicked it up a notch. It was obvious that being a Werewolf gave him great speed.
Every time I tried to catch up to him, I did. Although whenever I leveled my speed with his, I felt myself getting slightly tired the more I ran. It was my downfall. I wasn’t made for running, I was made for flying.
I easily ran faster than a human. Outrunning a Werewolf— it was proving to be a harder task.
I smiled inwardly as the thought of what I would do next popped into my mind.
“What’s wrong Cass? Is the Wolf faster than the Legen?” Liam yelled in a teasing tone.
I was about fifty feet behind him, but he knew I would be able to hear his comment.
Leaving all thoughts behind, I let my white wings flutter out from my back. My shirt ripped and almost fell apart as the wings popped out of them.
They looked shimmery in the darkness. It felt really good to have my wings out, even though I’d taken them out earlier in the day.
I abruptly stopped mid-run and tied my shirt in the back as best as I could. It had ripped from the back to allow my wings to come out. When I moved my arms and wings around and noticed my shirt stayed put, I dived into the air.
I made sure not to go too high in the air. I didn’t want to become invisible. I had all intentions of letting Liam see me beat him. In no time, I had caught up to Liam.
“Cheater!” Liam growled.
I laughed at him, while we both stopped in a small clearing.
“I didn’t cheat,” I replied in a nonchalant tone.
I kept myself in the air, just above where Liam stood. His eyes hadn’t left mine. Although he looked slightly mesmerized by my wings, he still seemed ticked off.
“Well you don’t see me going Wolf. But you’re flying around,” Liam complained.
“If I cheated then so did you. You were running way too fast. That’s because you’re a Werewolf,” I said, crossing my arms and finally lowering myself to the ground.
“Oh, I get it. The Legen can’t handle the strong and handsome Wolf, so she has to cheat,” Liam smirked.
“What? No way. I-” I started to say before Liam interrupted me.
“Don’t fret little one. The big bad Wolf will let you win this one.”
I narrowed my eyes at Liam. When he got a look at my expression, he started cracking up.
He was laughing really hard. At first, I got annoyed. I knew he was laughing at me and he knew it was having an effect on me. After a while, I joined in on the laugh. I couldn’t help it. His laugh was contagious. I didn’t really know what was funny, but it felt good to let it out all.
After a while, we started walking around the area. Liam asked me to keep my wings out, so I did. I didn’t really know why he wanted that, but I still did it.
I noticed that he kept looking at them. At times, he would softly run his hands over a few feathers, making them light up wherever he touched.
It was a soothing feeling.
A few minutes later, we ended up a few steps away from a stream of water that ran through the woods. During my trainings, I hadn’t noticed it, although I had been flying in the air all the time.
Liam walked ahead of me as soon as he saw the water. I caught up to him just as he kneeled down in front of the stream.
“What are you doing?” I slowly asked.
He cupped his hands and lowered them to get water from the stream. It looked crystal clear, but that didn’t necessarily mean it was clean.
He drank the water from his hands and did that a few more times. When he stopped drinking, I assumed he was full.
“The run made me thirsty,” Liam replied, shrugging.
He took a seat on the ground, which was covered in the same colorful stones that seemed to be near water in those areas. They were the same kind I had seen at the lake the day Layton and Zev exposed what they were to me.
“The packs are trying to fix all the shit that started when I supposedly attacked,” Liam quietly spoke.
It was silent all around us. I could only hear the sounds of some insects and the water on the stream. I sighed, enjoying the breath of fresh air. It had been a while since I allowed myself the chance to take in the freedom of being outdoors.
“I don’t think anything will ever be the same. They will be courteous with each other, but still remain hostile. They have been enemies for too long,” I said, as I dipped my hands in the water.
“It doesn’t taste bad, the water,” Liam told me, while nodding at the stream.
“I don’t want to find out. Besides, you could’ve had water at home,” I told him, picking up some rocks that were under water and comparing them to the colorful pebbles.
“I’ve been a Rogue for too long. Drinking water from a stream or a river is second nature to me. I’ve drank worse,” Liam said with a grin, while I scrunched up my nose.
“I don’t even want to know,” I told him, while Liam just chuckled.
“You’ll forgive Layton,” Liam said, staring at me intently.
“Why do you think that?”
“Even if you are not one of us, it is almost impossible to deny the bond. He will always call to you.”
“What if I chose to ignore it?” I asked him, searching his face for honesty.
“I wish you could, I really do,” Liam said, his voice growing serious and intense.
Liam shook his head at me. His words had made me curious, but it was obvious he wasn’t going to explain any further.
“I’d give you props if you can get yourself to ignore the mate bond. As for Layton, it will be like putting him through hell on Earth. I wouldn’t exactly call it a live without your mate,” Liam replied.
A cold expression took over his face, and I knew just why. I had hit a sore subject by asking about mates. I knew Liam no longer had his.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized, getting closer and taking his hand in mine.
“Don’t apologize. It wasn’t your fault. But if Layton lost you, it would be a lot worse than when I lost my mate,” Liam said, his eyes staring deeply into mine.
“He’s part of a pack. He’s an Alpha. Rogues don’t mate like Wolves from packs do. Rogues grow used to being on their own and the claim is significant, but not half as much as it is for a regular Werewolf,” Liam explained.
“So the bond with Layton and me is stronger because he’s a regular Wolf?” I asked.
“Layton is an Alpha. The reason Layton is a crazy bastard when it comes to you is because the title is just knocking at his door. An Alpha and his mate practically become one. Their bond is stronger than any other. It is a way to guarantee an Alpha that he can count on his Luna.”
“Wow…” I mumbled when I was finally able to speak.
“That’s not even half of it. Most of the Alphas I’ve seen— let’s just say that if it were up to them, they’d have their mate on a chain, following them around like a lost puppy,” Liam said, a teasing smile on his face.
“You’re joking with that last part, right?” I asked him, getting a smile of my own.
“I am half joking, half exaggerating.”
“Layton does fit that category though,” I said while Liam started chuckling.
“You know what’s weird?” Liam asked with a thoughtful look.
“That was a bad comeback Cassidy, even for you,” Liam said, shaking his head disapprovingly.
I laughed, even though it was a bad joke on my part.
“Oh whatever, tell me what’s weird.”
“While you were busy on dreamland and worrying everybody sick,” Liam said, grinning like a maniac.
“Oh, shut up!” I said, slapping his arm.
“As I was saying— while you were being sleeping beauty, I met Hanna.”
“If you can even call her that,” Liam replied, shaking his head.
“Why do you say that?”
“Zeverus shouldn’t have a girlfriend,” Liam flatly replied.
“Is it against the rules or something?”
Liam laughed at my question, and he patted my head. I slapped his hand away, which only made him smirk at me.
“You’re so innocent.”
“You’re so stupid,” I snapped, playfully.
“Werewolves don’t really have rules like that, Cass. Although out of respect to their mate, most Wolves are advised to wait before turning serious with someone. You don’t want to be planning a wedding with a person only to randomly find your mate in the middle of the reception,” he said, cocking an eyebrow.
I didn’t even want to imagine what anyone would do if they were put in that situation.
“Then why are you saying that Zev shouldn’t have a girlfriend?”
“I hadn’t seen much of Zeverus in years, but there’s something off in their relationship,” Liam finished saying.
“You don’t like her?”
“Eh, she’s alright. The she-Wolf is more on the quiet side,” Liam said.
“So? That doesn’t make her odd. Given, Layton is a sadistic loon, but he rarely talks. A quiet person is hardly anything out of the ordinary,” I told Liam, not understanding where he was going with his comment.
“Hanna’s fine. The relationship is what is weird. They’re just, they act indifferent.”
Liam looked like he didn’t really know how to explain himself.
“You think she doesn’t really like Zev? Should I do something about it?” I asked, my mind already thinking about how to approach the subject with Zev.
“Okay, let me rephrase myself. Zeverus is really indifferent with Hanna,” Liam bluntly stated.
“Huh?” I asked, not really knowing what to say.
“The days your lights were out, Layton wasn’t the only one with no sleep and forgetting about the world. Zeverus did not leave your house— at all. That’s why I was forced to meet Hanna in the first place.”
“Wait, how does Zev being busy force you to meet Hanna?”
“Zeverus has responsibilities with the pack. He’s training for his position as Alpha. That’s one thing. But Hanna is his girlfriend. I have no idea why she is living with him. To me, that’s just wrong. They are not mates, they are just dating. But Hanna is treating Zeverus like if they were married. I had to stand by her side the day Marcus called for a meeting.”
“He called for a meeting?” I asked, more curious about that than about Hanna.
“If I’m returning to the pack, he had to let all the members know. Zeverus should have been there. Marcus, who is the Alpha of the pack and his father, ordered him to be present. Zeverus not only didn’t show up, but he didn’t bother to call. He was just gone.”
“Since Hanna has become part of the pack and people are treating her like the future Luna, when she clearly won’t be, I had to escort her. Marcus thought it was best since I’m Zeverus’ cousin.”
“You don’t sound too happy,” I commented, raising an eyebrow.
“This is my third day with the pack. I’m already regretting it,” Liam said and I couldn’t help but laugh at his grim expression.
“You’re such a baby. Zev is awesome and so is his pack.”
“The pack still belongs to Marcus, and that in itself has been a pain in the ass. Besides, I really have been a Rogue for too long. Following rules isn’t really my thing,” Liam admitted casually.
It was almost five in the morning when Liam was helping me into bed. I was more asleep than awake, and Liam kept chuckling at all the nonsense I was mumbling.
I didn’t want the night to be over just yet. Liam and I had talked for a long time. He’d told me more about himself, and his life as a Rogue. I couldn’t deny that I was fascinated by it all. Although Liam had suffered in his time, he had lived a life of freedom. I slightly envied that.
“Goodnight Cass,” Liam whispered, placing a gentle kiss on my cheek.
I faintly heard his footsteps as he made his way towards the window.