The sheer force of the impact kicked Lukas out of his wolfish state. He heard a twin thud on his left, where Zena landed.
Lukas sat upright. The lack of pain confirmed that he was uninjured. Zena wasn’t blessed with the same luck and landed awkwardly on her right hip. The long string of feminine curses revealed that she was firstly alive and secondly pissed.
“Was falling 45,000 feet from the sky not enough for you?” she asked, voice thick with pain and sarcasm.
“I lost control,” Lukas replied defensively.
“I noticed,” she spat through a tight grimace.
Lukas sighed when he felt his anger flare. Not a single day could pass without them pettily fighting.
He stood up and dusted his slacks.
Zena looked away from the sky when Lukas’ hand appeared in her line of sight. She sassily ignored his offering and remained on her back, arms and legs spread out as if she was making a snow angel.
His blue eyes matched the color of the sky, almost camouflaging
“Go get Gerald,” she ordered.
“Why?” he challenged.
“Because I can’t walk. I need him to carry me upstairs.”
Lukas crossed his arms over his giant chest, involuntarily making the prominent muscles in his arms flex.
Zena looked away from him before the urge to stare took over her.
“I can carry you,” Lukas suggested. He wasn’t at all surprised by the tinge of jealousy he felt at the thought of beta Gerald cradling her to his chest.
“And let you molest me with that thing in your pants again? No thanks,” she retorted with a glare.
“I told you to take that fucking pen out of your-”
“Oh, so that’s what that was about? You envisioned me with your dick in my mouth? Goddess, you’re disgusting!” she yelled, pointing an accusive finger up at him.
“No. Just a man,” he corrected.
Zena flipped him off and moved her arm back to her side, waiting for for the healing process to do its thing and allow mobilization.
“We need to get back to your office. We need to discuss-”
Zena cut in a second time. “You’ve shoved me out of enough windows today, Lukas. Go home,” she sighed exhaustedly.
“I’m not going to repeat myself a second time,” Lukas warned.
“Don’t you have a pack to run? Get off my propert- Really?!” she launched her arms in wild directions when he bent down and attempted to lift her off the ground.
“Fuck off!” she swatted his arms away.
“Let me help you!” he growled.
She wasn’t refusing his help because she was prideful, but because she knew that her body reacted naughtily whenever he became unbearably close.
“No. Go get Gerald,” she insisted.
“Okay. Let’s settle with a compromise. Throw your arm over my shoulders and I’ll help you walk,” he suggested.
When she nodded, Lukas grabbed her arm and pulled her to her feet, secretly glad she got injured because it gave him an excuse to touch her.
She stumbled for a dozen steps, tightly gripping his left shoulder and the arm around her waist.
“Getting up the stairs will be interesting,” he mumbled. Zena nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt his chest rumble.
“I’d rather crawl than have you carry-”
“What happened? I heard a ruckus,” a third voice cut in.
Lukas turned and found Gerald jogging in their direction.
“Nothing interesting. Can you take me upstairs? I hurt my hip,” Zena requested as she eagerly pushed Lukas’ arm off her shoulder. He smelled and felt too delicious for her liking.
Gerald stopped in front of them. “Yeah of course,” he nodded, looking worried.
Zena raised her arms, like a child wanting to get carried.
Before Gerald could sweep her off the floor, Lukas stepped in. “Just wait a fucking minute!” he raged.
“What is it now? I have an important phone call like 10 minutes from now,” Zena sighed with annoyance.
“I told you that if you need to get carried then my arms are fully functional!” he debated. He shoved a hand through his brown hair when he realized that he was throwing a tantrum like a teenager. It was puberty all over again.
“Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound right now? It almost sounds like jealousy!” she threw back.
“Because that’s what it is. You fucking pain in the ass!” he growled.
Gerald shifted from one foot to the other, feeling uneasy.
“Scram. Go patrol or something,” Lukas rudely ordered when he realized that the shorter man was still standing about.
He wasn’t comfortable showing weakness. It was already eating him alive having to convey it to Zena. She is where he drew the line. No one else would see him place his pride on a platter.
Gerald glared, disliking the disrespect. He looked like he had a mouthful to offer but one shake of Zena’s head had him disengaging. He turned away from Lukas’ cold blue eyes and walked back to the direction he came from.
“I want a do-over. I want us to make this work,” Lukas declared after a short pause.
“Make what work? You mean our relationship? You’re about three weeks too late. There’s nothing left to work out,” Zena scoffed. She leaned her weight onto her uninjured leg and habitually crossed her arms over her chest.
The pose reminded him of the night she placed a young werewolf in his place for harassing a female at Nathaniel’s anniversary. The memory made him admire her spirit more. For so long, he thought that her boldness was nothing but troublesome. Now, he saw the mistake in his judgments.
Zena poured every ounce of passion her average frame contained into keeping who she loved out of harm’s way. With her as a leader, Mountain Hill would be protected and looked after with sincerity.
Lukas had been a fool for not recognizing her value on day one. The headaches the words that sputtered out of her plump pink lips triggered were worth it.
He took large steps forward and reached a hand out. Zena watched him carefully and took a tentative step back when his warm palm cupped her cheek. Instantly, her skin began to tingle.
“Feel that? The bond is still there. It’s not too late,” he argued, unable to stop his thumb from stroking her soft skin.
Her brow furrowed with anger and eyes darkened with hostility. Zena was quick to grip his elbow and pull his hand off her face.
“Why now? You had no problems using and controlling me a few weeks ago so what brought forth this change?” she demanded steely. She was having a hard time determining if he was serious or not.
“Because I’m as guilty of being stubborn as you are! I can’t get you out of my fucking head. That’s it, Zena. You won. I’ll give up on Red River and I’ll...” he coughed, "...change." The confession took a huge toll on him. It’s not every day that he admitted defeat. While his shoulders were squared with confidence, in reality, his heart was running a marathon. But she didn’t need to know that.
“So that’s it? You’re all enlightened and regretful and I’m supposed to jump on your lap and forgive all of your disrespect?” Zena responded with distaste coating her face.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked with an edge of frustration in his voice.
“I want you to walk out of Red River, go home, and reschedule the meeting with the council. I’m tearing up this bond if it’s the last thing I do. I deserve better than you,” she replied indifferently.
She didn’t seem affected by the confession that nearly killed him to lay out.
“We’ve established that I’m a selfish dick so it shouldn’t surprise you when I say that I’m not giving up,” he vowed.
“Leave, Lukas. And don’t come back unless it’s for business. You’re done here.”
With a sigh, she turned and painfully stumbled into her house.
“Meet me by the river at 9 tonight. It’s a date,” he called out.
Fast-forward a few more hours and Lukas was found sitting by the bank of the river with his feet dipped in the cool water; deep in thought. 9PM came by and morphed to 12AM dreadfully slow. It was clear that Zena had no intention to show up but that didn’t stop him from drifting to sleep under the stars.
He wanted to entertain the idea that she would appear to curse him out and order him off her land. He wouldn’t have minded this. After all, seeing her angry was better than not seeing her at all.
Lukas drifted into unconsciousness blanketed with disappointment, anger, and determination.
He was going to fix this.