“What the fuck are you talking about?! You are a doctor you should know why my mate is lying on that bed and not moving!”
The first sense to return to me when I regain consciousness is my hearing. I can hear Cole’s loud, commanding voice booming through the room and making the walls shake. And even though the doctor might not be able to hear it, I can hear the tiredness in his voice, the slight wobble of worry in it and it makes me want to open my eyes and hug him.
I try to open my eyes, but they seem to be glued together. I struggle, my brain yelling at my eyelids to open up, to let me see my mate. I really want to see my mate. It is at this moment that I realise just how much he really means to me.
I count to three in my head, practically ripping my eyelids open on three. A bright light attacks my eyes, making me wish I kept them closed, and I groan.
My voice is scratchy and it cracks halfway through calling out to him, but he must have heard, because his handsome, worried face is suddenly above me, his hand grabbing mine and entwining our fingers together.
“Sweetheart, are you okay? Doctor,” he snaps suddenly, looking over his shoulder,“please get my mate some water.”
The room is suddenly quiet and I look up at Cole, taking note of the bags under his eyes and his bloodshot eyes. His complexion is somewhat pale, no longer a tanned, healthy colour.
I sit up and pull him to me, wrapping my arms around his waist and gesturing for him to get onto the hospital bed with me. He wraps his strong arms protectively around my waist and he takes in my scent, nuzzling my neck.
“Sweetheart, you...you died. I came home and you weren’t moving. Your pulse was gone. I...I couldn’t feel our bond. You left me,” he stammers, pulling away, letting me see how scared he had been for me. His heart is racing against my chest, his eyes wild with an emotion I’m not too keen on naming at that moment. My heart shatters for him, and I pull his head to me, kissing him softly, letting him feel my warmth, how alive I am.
The door opens and closes suddenly, the doctor walking in. I pull away quickly, but Cole buries his head into my shoulder, not wanting the doctor to see just how upset he is. How upset the Alpha is. I nod my thanks at Dr Jasmine and she leaves, glancing over at me one more time as the door shuts behind her. That glance confuses me, but I brush it off, and take a sip of the water Cole had placed beside me earlier.
I look over at Cole and notice that his expression is still broken. My heart squeezes for him. The pain he feels is throbbing slightly within me, and I realise that this has affected him more than he’s letting on. “When I walked in and saw you unconscious, the one thought that kept repeating the entire time was, ‘she can’t leave me. Not like everyone else in my life.’”
I suddenly understand. His parents had died when he still needed them. They were ripped from him and he was shoved into a role with huge responsibilities before he could properly grieve. And seeing me close to death’s door, it must’ve brought on feelings that Cole had felt before. Loneliness and pain.
“Cole, it’s okay. I’m here, alive. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. To be honest, I don’t know what happened,” I say, and Cole looks at me, his eyes blazing.
“We don’t know yet, but whoever did this, I am going to make them pay in the worst way possible. No one hurts my mate and gets away with it. No one takes what’s mine away from me,” He growls, and he stands up, looking down at me.
“Dr Jasmine said you’re allowed to leave as soon as you wake up, so let’s go, my love,” he says, holding a hand out to me. “I hate hospitals, they only remind me of death and pain.”
I try to stand, but my legs aren’t working properly. Cole notices and lifts me into his arms, one arm under my knees and the other against my upper back. I snuggle into him, closing my eyes and listening to his steady pulse.
“Are we going back to our house Cole?” I ask, looking up at him, his chiseled jaw looking even sharper from my position. Cole smiles faintly when I refer to his house as ‘ours’, and I blush, looking down at his chest.
“No Sweetheart. It’s not safe there for you. We are staying at the pack house until we find out who did this to you. It’s safer there. There’s warriors and pack members who will do anything to protect their Luna.”
We arrive at the pack house within a few minutes, his long strides never faltering under my weight. When he opens the door and steps in, the room goes silent as all the pack members stare at us. Or, more accurately, at me. I wiggled in Cole’s grasp, and he places me gently on my feet.
“This is your Luna. She has just come back from hospital because one of you decided you wanted her dead. One of you decided you wanted my mate, your Luna dead.” His eyes are pitch black, his breathing becoming louder and louder. “WHEN I FIND OUT WHO DID THIS TO MY LUNA, YOUR PUNISHMENT WILL BE SO HARSH, YOUR DEATH WILL BE A MERCY I WILL NEVER GIVE YOU. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!”
The pack looks down in submission, and wait until we have left the room. Cole helps me into the bedroom I had been in last time. The first time I woke up here, which felt like forever ago.
“You must be tired, my love. Put on some comfortable clothes and get to bed,” he suggests. His breathing has somewhat returned to normal, and his eyes are back to their normal blazing blue. I nod, and move to the wardrobe and pull out a pair of sweatpants and a shirt. I quickly put them on and walk back out, climbing into the bed.
I realise that their is only one bed. So Cole and I will have to share. My heart speeds up at the thought. But to my surprise, instead of fear, there is only nervousness.
Cole walks into the walk-in wardrobe and came out in a pair of sweatpants, his chest bare. He looks over at me and ruffles his hair nervously. “Uh... I can sleep on the couch if that makes you comfortable,” he mumbles, gesturing to the leather couch against the wall. I push up onto my elbows and shame my head. “No, it’s fine. We can both sleep here. There’s no need for you to be uncomfortable tonight.”
Cole’s throat bobs and he slowly makes his way over to the bed. He gets under the covers and faces me, his eyes searching mine. I scoot closer to him, and he pulls me into his body.
His chest is warm and soft to the touch, and I immediately snuggle into him, my face buzzing his neck. I can feel his arms wind around my waist and his hot breath on my shoulder. I shudder and sigh. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sleep without him again.
We lay in the quiet for a while, both of us awake, but comfortable enough to not talk. I let out a yawn, sleep creeping up on me. But there’s something I need to say first.
“Cole, I am going to uni tomorrow. Okay?” Before he can protest, I continue, another yawn escaping. “I am perfectly fine, and Jace will be there. Also, please don’t take what happened out on the pack. Until you find out who did this, you should stay calm and be normal with them. Make them feel like nothing’s wrong. They need that, to know their Alpha and Luna are as strong as ever.”
Cole looks over at me, a ring of gold shining in the dark. “This is why I think you are going to be an excellent Luna. You’re so selfless, even when you just literally came back from the dead.”
I smile faintly and gently kiss his lips, close my eyes, and let darkness taking over me. But this time, I go willingly.
When I wake up, the first thing that came to my mind was that I need to use the toilet really bad. As I sit up to go to the bathroom, I realise that there is a muscled, tanned arm draped across my waist protectively. I smile and look over my shoulder at a sleeping Cole, and I take a moment to study his calm features. His blazing blue eyes are shielded from my view, allowing my own green ones to look over his sharp jaw, which is covered in a light shadow of a beard, his slightly crooked nose and his full, pink lips, that are parted to let air in and out. As I stare at his perfect lips, I have to physically pull myself back to stop myself from placing mine on his.
I nudge his arm gently, trying to get to off me so I can go to the bathroom. But it doesn’t move. In fact it tightens around me, drawing me closer to his bare chest. My smile drops in annoyance and I whisper a ‘sorry,’ before pushing him with all my strength. He goes rolling off the bed, his body thumping to the floor with a hard ‘thud.’ I stifle a laugh as his head rises to the bed’s level as he growls lowly at me, his eyes narrowed in the bright sunlight. Clearly he isn’t a morning person.
“Sorry Cole, but I tried to get you off nicely, but you didn’t move. Plus, I need to go to the bathroom really bad,” I say, trying to keep a straight face at his messy hair and angry expression.
“Yeah? Well, Sweetheart, you didn’t have to shove me onto the floor. Now you’ve made me angry. And even though you just came out of hospital, I don’t think you want to see me angry today,” he replies, standing up from his crumpled spot on the floor, and making his way to my side of the bed, his muscular chest drawing my eyes in, like bees to flowers. I decide to take things into my own hands.
“No...and I don’t think you’ll be able to stay angry at me for long, just because I ‘just came out of hospital’,“I mock, pushing him down onto the bed and putting one leg over him, straddling his waist. His expression is one of surprise and want, and I take it further, showing him I’m the one in control.
I lean forward and press my lips against his, moving my lips over his expertly, as if I’d done this a million times. I haven’t. His lips had been made for mine. My hair is falling all around us, creating a brown curtain, as if shielding us from the world.
He growls from under me, trying to push me under him, but I resist, growling back at him. I rock my hips on his gently, and his breathing starts to go ragged, his growls becoming deeper and deeper, until his strength overpowers mine, and my world flips over as he climbs onto me, laying between my legs, pressing his hard member against me, causing me to moan out into our kiss.
“This is what you make me feel, love. Your teasing is going to get you into a lot of trouble one day. I’d love to continue this,” he whispers into my ear, nibbling on it, making my breath get stuck in my throat,” but we need to eat with the pack today, and you have uni. So take your fine ass into that bathroom and get ready.”
His body weight is suddenly gone, and I sit up, huffing and puffing as if I’ve run a marathon. Cole is walking towards the walk-in wardrobe fixing his hair, his sweatpants hanging off his hips in the most hypnotic way. I tear my gaze from him and run to the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind me, leaning against it for a moment.
Well, that didn’t go as planned, I think, finally getting to the toilet and relieving myself. I finish my business and turn on the shower, stripping and jumping in, quickly scrubbing and washing my body and hair. I decide to shave my legs quickly, and go through the whole process, intending on wearing shorts today.
As I wash off, I look down at my body, remembering a time when I had hated how my body looked. How it had had scabs, bruises and cuts running up and down my body. But now, thanks to the healing powers of a wolf, my body is as smooth as a newborns, the injuries a mere memory, and I smile happily.
I put on a towel and turn off the shower, and peek out the door. Cole seems to be out of sight, so I walk to the wardrobe, quickly pulling on a pair of underwear. I rummage around for a minute, before pulling out a pair of high waisted black shorts and a tank top. I decide to pull on a sheer floral cardigan as well. I spot a pair of rose gold strappy sandals and I pull them on, loving how they match the floral print on my cardigan.
I walk over to the bedroom door, pull it open, and walk slowly to the dining room, where I cdlan hear lots of different voices, all yelling, chatting and laughing happily.
I can smell Cole’s scent in the room, and that gives me strength to round the corner, and stand in front of the pack, which instantly shuts them up. My feet shuffle awkwardly as I bask in dozens of stares. My eyes find Cole and he quickly walks over to me, wrapping an arm around my waist protectively and looking around at the pack members.
“This is the first time you are all properly meeting Jade Summers, my mate, the Luna of this pack. I expect her to receive just as much respect as I do. Please welcome the Luna of this pack,” he announces, his Alpha voice both intimidating and powerful, letting everyone know that he is the leader, that he is their leader.
We walk to the head of the table, where Cole leads me to sit in the seat beside him, which had been left empty the entire time, and he sits beside me, his arm never leaving my waist. I welcome the familiar gesture in this unfamiliar situation.
“Luna, what a lovely surprise. I was beginning to think Cole would keep you away from us forever,” comes a familiar voice from beside Cole, and I look up at the man, recognising Cole’s best friend Ryder. He grins at me, his brown eyes glinting in mischief. I chuckle quietly, looking over to see a glowering Cole.
“Shut up Ryder,” Cole growls, pushing a plate of pancakes in front of me. He pours a tall glass of orange juice and passes it to me. I mumble a quiet ‘thank you’ and take a sip.
He nods and loads his own plate, and takes a bite. I watch in fascination as the rest of the pack starts to eat. They’d waited for us to eat first. I can sense the amount of respect they have for the Alpha.
As we eat, different pack members come up to us and Cole everyone to me, and I smile at each person, trying to remember everyone. I hold the babies lovingly as the proud parents smile at me. Cole watches with a look of love and happiness. I see Tempest and Ebony again, and they introduce me to two of their friends, Mike and Gabriella, who are also mates. Mike has short blonde hair in a crew cut and dark brown eyes that stare with adoration at his mate, a beautiful, petite girl with long, brunette hair and chocolate coloured eyes. Both of them are warriors as well, and we talk for a while, promising to catch up another time.
Cole stands up, grabbing my hand and pulling me up beside him. We leave the house, and walk over to a shiny, white Nissan X-Trail. He unlocks the car, opens the passenger door, and helps me in, before shutting it and walking over to his side, getting in and starting the engine. He catches my eye, and shrugs.
“I don’t just have one car, Sweetheart. My SUV is at our house. So I’m taking this one.”
I get a warm feeling in my stomach when he says ‘our house’. I feel happy that he has accepted me so fast, that we have become so close so quickly. I suddenly feel a weird feeling. But I know that it’s not coming from me. I look over at Cole.
“Cole, why...what am I feeling from you?” I ask. He looks over at me and his smile widens. I look at him in confusion, as he kisses me softly.
“You’re feeling love. Because I love you, Sweetheart. And I know you might not feel the same now, but I hope, one day, you’ll say it back.” He puts the car into reverse and we back out of the driveway, and into the woods. We drive for a bit, before reaching a road that merges onto the freeway. My thoughts are consumed by Cole’s amazing confession. My heart swells with happiness, that I’m cherished by someone. Finally, I can be happy with him.
As we drive, I look at Cole from the side of my vision. His smile is gone, and is replaced by a frown. I wait to see if he’ll share his concern with me. And he does, about two minutes later.
“Love, when you get home, we need to talk about something. Now that your werewolf side is forming properly, you need to know all the changes and symptoms. Just...keep an open mind about it all. Okay?”
He sounds concerned and a little worried, so I nod my head and entwine my fingers with his. We reach uni in about ten minutes and I hop out, Cole doing the same.
“You don’t have to come with me Cole. I’m going to be fine.” I watch as he makes his way round the car to my side, and grabs my hand. I can feel the stares of a few students on us. I shift from foot to foot uncomfortably.
“I just need to talk to Jace for a bit. We need to sort something out.”
So we walk up the steps to the front of the building, where a few students are sitting reading a book or on their phones. A few are rushing into the building. I look around, and easily spot jace’s messy mop of blonde locks. He’s standing beside some guys from our class, chatting and pushing them around, laughing his head off.
Suddenly he looks up in our direction, as if he’d known we were coming. When he sees me, he grins, and runs towards me. I laugh at his silly grin and launch myself at him, grabbing onto his neck as he spins us round and round.
“Where have you been for the last week huh? I was beginning to think you’d dropped out for your hunk of a mate,” he jokes. I laugh at his comment, shaking my head.
“Oh shut up Jace. I’m hurt that you didn’t have time to visit your best friend who happened to be really really missing you,” I reply.
“Yeah yeah. I don’t think you thought about me the whole week. You were probably too busy getting to know your mate.” His grin is knowing, and I blush at how accurate he is. But then I feel a pair of arms wrap around my waist and pull me off of him, a growl sounding low in my ear. Cole.
“That’s enough. My mate does not touch other males like that,” he says, and Jace nods sheepishly, apologising. I just roll my eyes at his protectiveness.
“So, what’s up Alpha? You got your mate huh? Well let me assure you, she’s full of surprises.” Jace winks at me, and I shove him playfully.
“Yup. And guess what? I’m a werewolf too. So don’t think your some greater being than me,” I laugh, watching his expression. His eyebrows rise in disbelief, and he looks at Cole for confirmation. When Cole nods, he smiles at me.
“Well little lady, welcome to the family of werewolves. Hope your looking forward to everything. And by everything, I mean everything. Just you wait till the full moon,” he winks, but I frown in confusion. When he sees my expression, his smile drops.
“Alpha, doesn’t she know yet?” He asks, and I looked up at Cole, who looks pretty mad.
“No. I was gonna tell her after she got back from classes today, you mother fucker.”
I am surprised at how he reacts, and I put my hands on his chest. “Cole, it’s okay. Whatever you had to tell me, it can wait until after uni, like you planned. Okay?”
He nods, and leans down to place a kiss on my forehead, his lips leaving a tingling sensation on my skin.
“Okay, my love. I’ll see you afterwards. I’ll pick you up from this spot. And you,” he says, turning to Jace, who looks slightly ashamed, “can you maybe keep your mouth shut on things that don’t concern you? I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
Jace nods and pulls me to him, and we start walking. I look back to see Cole climbing into his car, pulling out of the parking and driving away. I can already feel the emptiness inside me.
“Well, you definitely scored an overprotective mate,” says Jace from beside me. I look over at him and laugh.
“Yeah, I guess I did. I’m so sorry for not coming to school for the past week. Things have been...hectic. Not only did I get to know Cole, but I learnt that my dad is the Alpha of the biggest pack in the world, that I’m a werewolf, that you,” I lower my voice a bit, “are a spy in his pack for Cole and that someone in Cole’s pack wants me dead.”
Jace blanches at the last part, and demands I tell him everything. When I am done, he looks totally pissed off.
“My best friend does not deserve a welcoming like that. I wish I was able to be there for you, but I’m pretty mixed up in your dad’s pack. Speaking of, I’m going to have to keep this a secret. This whole thing where you’re a werewolf and mated to the second biggest Alpha in the world.”
I nod, and we walk into the lecture room. I missed him so much, and I want to catch up as much as possible. There is also a part of me that just wants to sit down with him and find out everything he knows about my dad. His hobbies and little quirks. Being his Beta, he would know things like that. But now is not the time.
When our professor walks in, I groan. It’s going to be a very long lesson.