Chapter 16: Romeo & Juliet
I wake up with my nose to Wyatt’s chest.
Sunlight has completely filled the cabin and I’m not sure what time it is, but I don’t really care about that. My head is resting on his bicep like a pillow and when I finally look up at him, it catches me off guard that he’s already wide awake. In less than a second I go from zero to a hundred on the appreciation scale. I didn’t wake up alone. Wyatt could have easily left me by myself but he didn’t. I can hardly dare to believe it, but waste no time practically throwing myself at him – wrapping my arms tight around his neck.
The happiness is so overwhelming I start to cry. Lately, as frustrating as it is, I’ve become used to the sensation of being on the brink of tears. Things are hard to process – thoughts get stuck – but Wyatt is the shining light to all of that and as I sob against him it’s just like he expected it or something. He’s calm and patient as I soak his chest with tears, running a soothing hand down my back.
This has to be paradise.
The relief I feel letting it all out for absolutely no reason – without getting yelled at or feeling guilty – is so wonderful I can barely believe it. My lips are trembling; my chest is rising and falling with sharp hiccups. I’m not even that ashamed of myself… somehow I know that Wyatt doesn’t think less of me for being a big crybaby.
“You okay?” he checks after several moments of silence.
I’ve never felt better. I’m absolutely sure of this – and I squeeze him tightly in response.
“Why—why are you—still here?” I hate that I have to ask. I don’t want to remind Wyatt of all the things he’s said about not having any time for this kind of thing… but I need to know so badly I’ll probably explode.
“I just thought – I’m being too hard on you,” he starts, and I nod eagerly – eating up his sympathy like a gluttonous pig. “You’ve been through a lot Calix… and I’m a jerk on top of everything. I’m not a good guy… I’m really not cut out for –”
“You are,” I interrupt. “You are a good guy, Wyatt. You rescued me, and you’re taking care of me –” I want to list a million other ways he’s the greatest person in the world but emotions cut me off.
“Anyway,” he interrupts. “I just don’t want to make it worse. If this is what you need, then—”
“Then I can stay?” I finish eagerly, way too full of hope as I try to read his eyes. The blue orbs are soft, but somehow still guarded and he doesn’t necessarily answer the question immediately. Before I can let that sinking feeling totally take over, he bends slightly to kiss me.
“No,” he finally answers. “I told you, that’s not even an option. But, I’m going to think of something. Even if you have to wait a bit and I kidnap you for real, I’m going to keep you.”
I break into a smile and press my face into his beard.
“Okay,” I approve. I don’t need details… there’s no question how much I trust Wyatt’s capability. If he says he’s going to do something, I know he’ll do it, and it suddenly feels like several large knots that have twisted my heart are finally releasing.
“And I’m serious, Calix, you have to start listening to me, alright? I don’t want to go to jail. I don’t want you or Canuck getting hurt…”
“I know,” I say – though I really don’t understand his concerns. “I’ll listen – I’ll do anything!”
“Then stop – stop – fucking stop being so cute,” he growls, playfully nipping at my face.
I try to move away but his hands sink into my sides and he tickles me so hard I squirm against him uselessly. My forced giggles make him smile and there’s a feeling of an incredible weight being lifted off me.
I feel wonderful.
Wyatt proves just how cuddly he is by scratching my cheek with his beard, almost crushing me to death in a hug. I don’t mind how close our bodies get, or how long we stay in bed, because it’ll never be enough. I just close my eyes and enjoy his company.
I happily eat everything on my plate, even though the filmy deer meat is quickly going bad and it’s making my stomach turn. I’m actually so far past caring about the everyday luxuries of modern civilization, and it’s kind of surprising.
Chewing thoughtfully, I consider how Wyatt feels – tied to a mountain; tied to his wolf. I spare a glance in Canuck’s direction… he’s contentedly ripping apart large chunks of unusable deer meat and looking as rabid and wild as ever. There’s no way this beast is cut out for any kind of life other than the one he has here.
Wyatt always sits beside me to eat, and this morning is no different except that he can barely wait for me to finish eating and brushing my teeth before wrapping his strong arm around me and pulling me against him. My heart still isn’t used to it – it’s leaping around and slamming against my rib cage.
“I’m going to change these,” he mutters after allowing me several moments to collect myself. His thick finger is pointing to the make-shift bandages on my leg and admittedly, this puts a damper on my mood a little bit.
“Okay…” I begin, tentatively. “And then what?”
“Then you’re going to stay in here and rest for a bit.”
I want to complain, but I know – after going back and forth with him for what seemed like an eternity – that I have absolutely no room to convince him of anything else. He’s keeping me. I have to choose my battles, and in all fairness, by Wyatt’s standards, it feels like I’ve been spoiled rotten this morning. So I nod agreeably, distracted with the size of his hands and the sudden urge to hold the one hanging limp over my shoulder.
“Then what else…?” I ask just to be annoying. My wide grin isn’t lost on Wyatt who flexes his bicep and almost strangles me into a chokehold.
“One thing at a time,” he warns, murmuring playfully into my ear.
God… I really, really, really can’t live without him.
I manage to twist in Wyatt’s hold and kiss him as hard as I can. There’s a sweep of heat from my lips down as soon as they connect and even more satisfying is feeling the strength leave Wyatt’s grip. He relaxes completely; opening his mouth… pulling me in deeper.
I could kiss him forever.
But he weakly stops me anyway, looking just as flushed as I feel as I take in his appearance. It’s such a great look on him. The contrast of the red in his cheeks against his blue eyes makes me melt inside and throw myself at him again.
This time he falls back into the mattress a little, taking me with him. A distant part of me recognizes the throbbing in my leg as I try to wrap it around him but like a mind-reader Wyatt simply helps manoeuvre it and strokes his hand up the bad thigh as gently as he can – massaging cramped muscle.
Meanwhile my tongue is twisting between his lips. I love the way he accepts it… love how he muffles a groan into my mouth as I carry things way too far. His beard is somehow softer than ever as I run my fingers through it and feel his jaw working to keep up with mine.
He pulls back and bends forward to suck at my neck. I know I’m stirring him up but I can’t stop – I don’t think I’ll ever get enough. I stretch my chin so he can lick, mouth and bite as he desires and he’s doing such a good job coating me in saliva there won’t be any question who I belong to. I fist a bunch of his choppy brown locks in my hand and pull his face harder against me because I can just somehow feel how bad he wants to let loose.
Sure enough, with this slight prompting, he softly sighs out my name and makes my head pound.
“Wyatt,” I return, delighting in how good his name feels.
“Don’t do this to me, sweetheart,” he mutters, pulling back from his attack. His blue eyes sweep my face. “I don’t want to hurt you, so be careful what you wish for.”
I don’t understand. Nothing I end up pushing him to do to me would make me reconsider any of my actions or feelings. My disconcerted look makes Wyatt smile, and he leans in to whisper even more delicately coated threats.
“You have no idea how much I want to wreck this ass of yours… and have you seen how big my dick is?”
When he pulls away, leaving me tingling all over, I offer him a weird look.
I can’t blame him; guys are obsessed with that kind of thing.
“It’s big,” I agree before snuggling into his throat this time and enjoying the way his beard tickles my forehead. “No wonder you’re the alpha.” My tone is a mix of teasing and pretend awe, and Wyatt picks up on the joke.
“I’m serious,” he insists, sitting up finally now that we’re both through with making out – mood gone.
“Uh-huh,” I dismiss, pulling my bad leg up a little bit and displaying the bandages. “Are you going to change these or what?”
Canuck has just sauntered indoors for a visit, effectively interrupting daydreams about Wyatt. With no time to bind me anymore, my world simply begins and ends with him. Right now, he’s outside the cabin – working on his stupid sled – and the door has been left ajar as usual to let fresh air and all kinds of bugs through it.
When his wolf approaches me, I’m more than happy to interact despite knowing this creature is the only thing holding Wyatt back from being with me properly.
I’m still absurdly fond of him.
I lean over slightly to pet Canuck and he allows me, but I can feel his wet nose sniffing away like mad. It presses into my throat and somehow, I’m not even the tiniest bit scared.
“Do you smell Wyatt?” I ask in a cheery, sing-song voice I’ve become accustomed to using for any dog – wolf or not. My hands comb through his fluffy neck fur and scratch deeply, forcing him to sit. “Such a smart doggy, Canuck – yes you are!” When his leg starts shaking a little I focus on rubbing the itchy spots until his tongue ejects and he starts panting. “Such a good boy!” I praise again – even though he hasn’t done anything praise-worthy. Unlike Wyatt, I know that a little bit of appreciation for no reason goes a long way.
Canuck is so excited that his tail is practically a blur.
I pamper him by giving him a thorough petting, and then his head presses hard against mine appreciatively. He rubs the top of his crown on either side of my face before dropping to the floor and exposing his fluffy stomach.
I have to climb off the mattress to accommodate the belly rub he wants but I don’t mind. It doesn’t take a dog whisperer to read the happiness coming out of those massive yellow eyes. I use both hands to toss his fur back and forth and pet him in places I’m not even sure Wyatt has. From all I’ve seen, Canuck’s master simply pats him behind the ears or wrestles with him every now and again.
I’m just in the middle of blowing raspberries against his exposed chest when Wyatt stomps through the cabin door and catches us.
His frown makes it clear he’s not happy, but the good news is he doesn’t have that unhinged look in his eyes that can mean imminent danger. I smile as innocently as I can and move my face away from Canuck.
“Are you done out there?” I ask eagerly.
Wyatt ignores me, and as he approaches, Canuck rolls back to a proper laying position and paws at my knee to try and get me to continue. I wouldn’t dare. Wyatt is already motioning me to get up and I struggle onto my bad leg before he pulls me in close by the collar of Dax’s T-shirt.
“How come every time I leave you alone for a second, you have your hands all over him?” he asks with an ice-cold voice.
“Obviously it’s because I’m trying to get along,” I admit bluntly. “Isn’t that what you wanted?”
“That was before he started disobeying me,” he explains.
“He’s only doing that because you’re being unfair,” I begin, but then close my mouth after remembering I promised Wyatt I’d listen to him.
He’s trying to be threatening, but it’s not working as well as it used to… maybe because I really don’t care about anything else in the world except being together. I stare up at him– glassy-eyed – as he continues his lecture. According to him, being alone with Canuck is hazardous – Canuck could still be trying to go for alpha – Canuck is a wolf.
I nod at all the right moments, focused on his lips before he finally runs a hand through his hair.
“Just make sure I’m around – none of this behind the scenes stuff, alright?”
“Okay,” I agree easily before taking full advantage of the free reign to do whatever I want to Wyatt. I don’t have to hold myself back for fear of him pushing me away or getting upset – a relief in itself – so I hug him tight around the middle and breathe in a mix of sweat and sawdust.
It must be break time because after we hug, Wyatt climbs onto the bed and opens his arms so I can crawl into them.
It’s my lucky day. As soon as I’m tucked safely against him I let loose an excited noise and squeeze him hard. Without any filter I just say the first thing that comes to mind with the swelling rush of warmth.
“I love you.”
He’s silent, but I just squeeze him again and wrap my foot around his calf. “I love you, Wyatt.”
It’s wonderful to say – like letting out a secret I can’t keep anyway even though there was no conscious effort to keep it back. I don’t expect him to say much – or anything at all for that matter – but his response bothers me anyway.
“No… you don’t.”
“You can’t fall in love that quickly,” Wyatt argues with an unbelievable shake of his head.
I lift slightly so I can stare him down. “Yes you can. It happens all the time…”
“Name one time,” he challenges.
“Romeo and Juliet?” I venture, grasping at straws.
This makes Wyatt burst with his signature booming laugh. His chest raises and falls with me on it until he’s regained himself. It doesn’t feel very good being laughed at… but he’s really hot when he smiles like that and his eyes squint up a bit.
“Have you even read Romeo and Juliet?” he asks between another laugh. He knows I haven’t; couldn’t even if I tried. It’s hard enough reading proper English let alone Shakespearian gibberish. But I’ve seen enough references in pop culture to understand the gist of the story. “First, they’re fictional. Second, they were young, stupid, and both ended up dead. Not exactly a prime example there…”
“Well – whatever. It’s possible,” I insist. I’ve never known this all-consuming feeling before. The attraction – desire – I feel for Wyatt is unparalleled.
“You think it’s love but you’re wrong, Calix. This is the only way you can deal. I’m obsessed too but let’s not jump to any –”
"So, what you’re saying is—you don’t love me,” I determine.
“Don’t put words in my mouth,” he warns as his eyebrows lower. “You’re the most important person in the world to me.”
He’s really talented at making things sound good, but he’s underestimating how shrewd I can be.
“You don’t have anyone else,” I accuse bluntly. “Of course I’m the most important.”
“Look,” he begins, patting my head as if trying to pacify me – his smile reveals I’ve hit the nail on the head. “You can do waybetter than me. You deserve better.”
“What are you talking about? I don’t want anyone else!” Yes – I can hear the whine in my voice, but it’s too late; words are spilling from my lips before I can stop them. “And I don’t want to leave your side, Wyatt! I’m afraid that once I do I’ll never see you again!”
“See what I mean?” he says, completely missing the point which is that I’m head over heels for him. He’s not budging at all. “Love isn’t riddled with separation anxiety – it’s not a Band-Aid solution to your problems—”
“Why are you acting like you’re an expert?” I ask with narrowed eyes. “You’ve never even had a real girlfriend… you wouldn’t know what love is if it hit you in the face.”
Surprisingly enough, Wyatt gives a tiny smile. He knows I have a point – a good one at that. “There’s no talking sense into you, huh?”
I bury my face back into him as the conversation is dropped, still a bit emotional from having to fight to for my feelings. But there’s no wavering from them – no question in my mind. Wyatt is the most dependable, funny, handsome, capable, strong, protecting, and sweetest guy in the world. There’s no one better – no one that comes close to him. And time tells all – if he doesn’t believe me because it’s too soon well, give it another week and he’ll realize how serious I am.
We share a silence during which I find even more things to fall in love with. The way Wyatt’s heart sounds when I press my ear against it – the way he smells so earthy and wonderful…
I love him… a lot.
And I underestimate how exhausted he must be because a few moments later I’m surprised to find Wyatt napping underneath me – snoring peacefully. His hands are cracked and bleeding from handling so much dry wood, but they’re still holding me just fine against his body. I absently twist my finger into his beard as gently as I can and try to count all of the lighter coloured strands.
If only I could live out all of my days like this.
No wonder Wyatt likes it out here. It’s so peaceful… like a world just for us where the only thing to worry about is supper. Every moment is worth it – every fight, every tear. He’s keeping me after all. Deep down he needs me very badly.
I feel some satisfaction at that – feel a surge of some kind of strange new power when I see the marks I left on Wyatt’s neck. They’re bruised, but not very vicious looking and I lean forward to kiss each one. He stirs a little, but doesn’t wake up, and I wiggle against his leg as I remember making out with him this morning.
A sharp breath escapes me when the addicting rush of pleasure clouds everything.
I get that he’s tired…Wyatt worked outside for what felt like forever. The right thing to do is let him rest but… fighting these urges to be intimate is too hard. I need physical reassurance of his feelings for me. So I get carried away tonguing the bites and Wyatt finally stirs. His eyes are unfocused and groggy as I pull myself on top of him and hover a few inches from his mouth.
“Wyatt…” I whisper, hoping to rouse him as gently as possible. As soon as his blue eyes meet mine I see them spark a little with recognition. It feels like my stomach is pulled right out from under me; my smile so big it hurts. I’m made aware he’s game to fool around judging by the way he palms my ass, pulling me up a little higher on his body so we can kiss. I pull his bottom lip between my teeth, but I don’t feel bad getting rough with Wyatt.
I know he kind of likes it.
I also know I’m spiralling quickly – getting sucked into a vortex of depravity and wild, uncontrollable thrills. Though... it feels really good to let go, and I’ll do whatever it takes to drag Wyatt down with me.