Chapter 20 - A Midnight Snack
“So, how should I address you? Prince Caspian? Your Royal Highness Prince Caspian?”
His lips curve up into a mischievous smile. “You may call me sweetheart, or prince awesome, though I won’t object to prince incredible...actually that sounds perfect, like I’m some kind of a superhero or something.”
I can’t help but roll my eyes. “Unbelievable!”
“That works too.” His grin grows wider. A bubble of laughter escapes my lips and I start laughing. He stares at me like I just handed him a trophy.
It’s past midnight and we’re back in his fancy car, traveling down the hill through the narrow road. There are no street lights lighting up our path. Trees flanking our left and right.
“I love it when you laugh. Your laughter sounds like a soft peal of windchime in the breeze,” he says and I almost choke. Wow!
“That’s where I live,” he points out casually before I can recover. I think my head is reeling.
He tips his head towards the first house we encounter after we rounded a curve where the small road joins a wider one. I continue to stare at him for a second before I shift my attention to the structure in front of us.
It’s more of a mansion than a house. I noticed it before when we were driving up. It looks kind of different from this evening under a different light. Either way, it is a beautiful house.
It has a long circular driveway lined with palm trees and neatly trimmed hedges and grass.
The house itself is a perfect blend of traditional and modern. It has a Spanish influence with white stucco walls. The front structure is rounded, looking almost like a turret of a castle. The abundance of big glass windows lends a modern look.
The long driveway is brightly lit now. Most parts of the house are hidden from view behind trees and their shadows, so I don’t know how big it actually is. A warm glow of lights illuminate the big windows.
He slows the car down almost to a stop. “Would you like to come in for, uh...” He gives me a devilish smirk. “...a midnight snack?”
Midnight snack? I send him a glare. “Is that what you call it? No, I don’t want your midnight snack.”
“You could just say “No, thank you” to my snack offer. There’s no need to be so hostile about it,” he replies innocently. “And yeah, last time I check, avocado on toast or a turkey sandwich qualifies as a midnight snack.”
Was he really offering a snack and nothing else? My cheeks start to burn from embarrassment until I catch a mischievous glint in his eyes and the roguish grin he’s trying to hide.
Oh, he thinks he’s so funny!
I give him the stink eye and he chuckles. “Okay, I was just messing with you, but seriously, I would like you to meet my friends.”
Oh, no...I don’t think I’m ready to meet his friends yet. Just the thought of meeting his friends ties my stomach in knots so I shake my head.
He looks amused. “I swear, they don’t bite,” he says. He flashes me a grin that’s half roguish and half adorable as he adds, “The snacks won’t bite either...but I might.”
I huff, trying to stay mad. I have to bite my lip, trying to curb a laughter that’s threatening to erupt. He’s ridiculous...and charming. Too charming for his own good.
“There’s the smile,” he says when I shake my head and the smile I try to hide breaks through.
I think he knew that I would say no since he doesn’t press the issue. “Next time, then,” he mutters as he drives past the mansion. “To everything.” A smile is playing on his sexy lips.
This man is way too dangerous for my heart. It’s hard not to like him.
“Tell me about your friends,” I say, trying to divert my attention to something else other than those perfect, sensual lips.
“They’re not just my friends. They’re my pack. My family,” he answers. “There’s Constantine, he’s my cousin, and his mate, Genesis. She’s the redhead you saw in class with me.
“Then there’s Lazarus. He’s our head security as well as Constantine’s cousin from his mother’s side. His mate, Serena, the blonde you might have seen around campus with me.
“I think you’ve met Beany, I mean Penny and her mate, Darius. They’re the newest members of our pack.”
I make a quick calculation in my head. “So...there are seven of you? Only seven members in your pack?”
“We don’t need numbers. Who is stupid enough to go against a lycan? Let alone seven of us. Who needs more when you have six people you can trust with your life? I know they’d die for me.”
It’s evident from the way he talks about them that these people are important to him and that makes me even more nervous about meeting them.
“Do you think they will like me?”
His lips curve up into that smile again. The one that makes it look like he knows something that no one else does.
“Trust me, they’ll love you, princess.”
When we reach Jonah’s house, he turns off the engine. Then he sits back, watching me while I fidget. The intensity of his gaze makes me nervous sometimes...most of the time...okay, all the time.
He reaches out and takes a lock of my black hair and wind it around his long elegant index finger. Even a small gesture like that seems very possessive. Like he owns every inch of me.
“There’s something else I want to tell you,” he tells me. “I’m leaving for Russia in a couple of days.”
“Oh...” Something heavy settles uneasily in the pit of my stomach and in my heart.
“I won’t be back until Thursday next week.”
Today is Tuesday. If he’s leaving in a couple of days, that means he’ll be gone for a week.
“I know you said you need time and you have a lot to think about but I want everybody to know that you’re mine. I want to mark you before I go.”
“It’s too fast,” I tell him. “We’re moving too fast.”
“In my world, we’re moving too slow,” he mutters petulantly, letting my hair slips through his fingers.
I know in the werewolves society, they mark and mate within days, if not within a few hours of meeting their mates. I’m guessing it’s the same in the lycan’s world.
“In my world, this is totally crazy.”
“What’s so crazy about it? You grew up in our world and you’re a half werewolf.”
“I’m a normal human,” I insist.
“Yeah, so you told me. You’re a normal human who wants to marry a normal human man,” he says with a frown. “So what? Are you going to be seeing human men while I’m gone? Is that why you don’t want me to mark you?” He demands to know. I can see from his profile that he’s scowling. His bottom lip is jutting forward and his jaw is taut. He’s clearly in a pissy mood now.
Oh, the whiplash this man is giving me. One moment he’s all flirty and teasing, the next, he’s moody and possessive.
My first impulse was to answer “What if I did? It’s none of your business.” But then I remember that he’s a dangerous lycan and he’s supposed to be my mate and I manage to hold my tongue.
He is silent, staring out the window for a long time while I struggle to find a response that won’t set a lycan off. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the prince is sulking.
“Caspian. Prince Incredible...” I say. He is still pouting but he blinks in surprise and his jaw isn’t as tight. I smile.
“Prince Unbelievable,” I add in a teasing voice and I see him struggling not to smile.
I unfasten my seatbelt and reach out to touch his cheek and bring his face to look at me. I don’t know where this confidence comes from but I try not to second guess my instinct. I think I’m learning how I can get my way with this hot lycan prince.
“You have to understand, it’s a life-changing step for me. The idea of changing into a lycan...and not to mention, you’re a prince. It’s a lot for me to take in.”
He sighs. “Yeah, okay. You’re right. I know I shouldn’t have pressured you like that...I should give you more time,” he says. “You’ve handled tonight a lot better than I thought you would.”
Yes! An almost apology. I feel like asking him to repeat those words again: “You’re right”. I suspect not many people ever got to hear those words from this prince. I feel like I’ve won this round. For now. I try not to let all that power go to my head because I suspect that he could have an upper hand without any trouble at all.
“Before I let you go to think, there’s something I have to do. I want you to think about this...” He slips his fingers into my hair behind my neck, pulls me to him, and closes his mouth on mine.
Just like that, I’m losing the upper hand.
The moment our lips meet, I forget everything but the feel of his soft lips on mine. The feel of his tongue slipping inside my mouth to slide against mine. The taste of him as our tongues tangle together. The current of electricity that brings the explosion of heat and pleasure all over my body the moment we touch.
I moan softly when he sucks on my bottom lip. He groans when I suck his top lip in return. With a louder groan, he takes over the kiss completely, ravishing my lips. The sound is feral, wild, and sexy and it drives me crazy.
My hands move up to grip the silky strand of his hair and he moans into my mouth when I give it a tug to bring him closer to me.
His hand grips the back of my neck, angling my head to his liking while another travel to roam my back, then slides down to wind around my waist to pull me into him until there’s no space between us.
His mouth moves down to kiss, nibble and suck his way across my jaw, behind my ear, my neck, and my throat. Oh, god...
“Marked or not, you’re already mine, Moya Printsessa,” he mumbles against my neck before his mouth makes its way back to my lips.
I don’t know how long we’re in there but I vaguely aware that the windows are all foggy. By the time I walk out of the car, my feet feel like jelly and my head is stuffed with cotton candy. It’s a great mystery to me how I make it into the house without smacking my face into the front door.
Oh, god, I could’ve kissed him the whole night!
Layla is in the living room, sitting on the sofa half asleep when I get into the house.
“Oh, thank god you’re okay,” she mumbles, getting up.
“You’ve been waiting for me?”
“I’ve been worried sick. You left without your phone too.”
I feel guilty for making her worry like that but it’s not like I had a choice when I was being carried out like a sack of potato this evening.
I glance at the clock on the wall above the TV. It’s 1:05 am. Layla rarely goes to bed later than 10 pm. She’s early to bed and early to rise kind of person. She must have been really worried about me to stay up this late even though she’s barely awake now. Her eyes are half closed. Her curly hair is sticking up like she’s been charged with electric current.
I take off my shoes and walk barefoot across the room. I don’t want to wake Isaac and Lana up. Layla follows me, walking like a zombie to our bedroom, then she kicks the door closed behind her.
“You went off with a lycan,” she croaks, scratching her arm.
I nod. “He is, and he wants to mark me,” I tell her.
“Oh,” she says, after a yawn. “That’s it?”
“That’s it?” I squeak, barely able to believe that I heard her correctly. “That’s it?” I repeat incredulously. “The real question is, what do I do now, Layla?”
“Oh, girl, when a lycan wants to mark you, there’s nothing you can do about it,” she says with another yawn. “What a lycan wants, a lycan gets,” she mumbles and promptly falls facedown on her bed.
I think she’s probably too tired to think straight right now. That’s the only excuse I have for my friend for saying things like that. Soon enough I hear her snore.
I change into my pajama and make my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I freeze when I see my reflection in the mirror above the sink. He left another hickey on my neck! It’s clearly a marking of territory. I bet he did it on purpose. Darn it, he’s well and truly gained the upper hand now!
I yawn for the hundredth time since I helped Cat open the cafe this morning. Cat even made me a double shot Espresso instead of my usual Latte Macchiato to help wake me up. So far it’s not working.
I didn’t sleep much at all last night. I lay awake, listening to Layla’s soft snore while mulling things over and over in my head.
Everything that Caspian told me, I stored away in the back of my mind so that I wouldn’t freak out in front of him. Everything came up to the forefront as soon as I was in bed all alone with my thoughts.
For a long time, I wanted so much to be a normal human. Being a lycan was never part of my life plan. That’s just crazy! To top it off, I’m about to mate to a Crown Prince! What does that mean to me? Am I going to be a queen?
I had a mini freak out after a mini freak out until I replayed our touches and kisses. The tingles, the thrill... Now it makes sense that he calls me “Princess”.
“Everything okay, Quincy?”
“Huh?” I raise my head to look right at Cat’s face.
“Is it a new boy toy?” she asks me with a cheeky smile. “You look kinda dreamy.”
“I don’t look dreamy! I don’t do dreamy,” I huff as I hear new customers stepping in. I sassily add, “And I don’t keep boys as toys, I eat them up after I finish toying with them. Hah!” I flip my order pad open, face the front door and freeze. I vaguely register Cat wheezing behind me.
Standing on the threshold are four magnificent looking lycans. All four staring at me. All the four of them looking very amused.
I have no doubt in my mind that they heard my last comment. Oh, what the fff...frickin frack!
Is it too late to go hide now? Or better still, move to a different planet where putting your foot in your mouth is the law and a requirement to stay?
*Sorry, another hectic week and I had a dentist appointment that went waaaay too long for my liking this morning. Ick! (At least my pearly whites feel clean) My next update will be this Monday. Have a wonderful week my dear friends and readers!