The tension could probably be felt a mile out. It was so thick; I could have cut it with a butter knife. We both stood still, waiting on the other to make the first move. He knew the pain I had gone through when he rejected me. Now it was as if he had completely forgotten about it all.
I don’t know how long we stood like that, but neither one of us was willing to make a sound. He eyed me up and down as I did the same with him.
He hadn’t changed much in the last seven years; except for getting even more muscle than before if that was even possible. His hair was still tossed around in the same manner he used to wear it in. His eyes held me the most though.
For a split second, I thought I actually saw pain flash through his eyes. But the emotion was gone so fast, it must have been a trick of the eyes. He didn’t feel pain for what he did. If he had, he wouldn’t have rejected me in the first place.
But I couldn’t stop the hope that I felt when the idea of him actually regretting what he did. If only it was true.
I was so engrossed in him; I didn’t hear Reid come back out onto the porch.
“Luna,” His voice snapped me out of the ravine of thoughts Axton had placed me into. I nodded my head slightly, afraid to break eye contact with Axton, “Zea is with Luna Layla.”
“Thank you, Reid,” I told him, watching as Axton shook with a slight anger still.
“Ellie, you should leave-” he started, but was immediately stopped the thought by Axton.
“She is not going anywhere,” he said in a definite tone.
“We do not belong here, Axton. Not anymore,” I reply, my voice breaking slightly above a whisper as I continued, “You saw to that.”
He thought for a second, seeming to be deep in thought, “I will not allow you to disappear again. You are staying and that is final.”
“You can’t keep us here.”
He was in front of me within a millisecond that I never even saw him move. He lifted his hand ever so slightly. I held my breath, waiting for the emptiness to take over my body when he touched me.
I knew what it would feel like from the stories of others have told about what happens when rejected mates touch again. It is like a black hole is swallowing your heart. All you feel is the emptiness and loss of the rejection. It is like you relive every ounce of pain you have ever gone through. For me, that was a large mountain to endure again.
I watched him as he looked over my face, as if memorizing the changes that had occurred over the years. I waited as his fingers twitched forward ever so slightly, the tips gently touching my cheek.
I prepared for the pain, but what I didn’t prepare for was the electricity running from his fingertips. The sparks exploded upon the gentle touch, spreading through my body. They ran from my cheek all the way to the ends of my toes.
The shock of feeling the tingles and sparks once more caused me to gasp upon my mate’s touch.
The mate bond, how can we still feel it? I asked Raelynn.
I do not know. He rejected us. Both of them did. I do not know how the bond is still intact, she replied.
He leaned in closer to me. He softly caressed my face with the smallest of touches as he whispered back to me, “You will find that I can.”
After Axton had declared that I was staying, he dragged me into the pack house. We were currently sitting across from each other in the living room as we both just stared at one another. Again, both waiting for the other to break the silence.
He shifted slightly before apparently manning up and going first, “Are you going to tell me why you left?”
I let out a humorless laugh at his act, “Seriously? You want to play it that way?”
“I don’t want to play at all, Ellie,” his voice rising a tiny bit, “I want to know what happened.”
“What happened?” I stared at him, “Since you want to pretend like you don’t have a single clue about the reason I left, I guess I get to say it. You happened Axton.”
“What did I-” his question was cut off by the sudden pounding coming down the stairs. The stampede of shoes hitting the oak floors shook the frames around on the wall.
All I saw was a sudden blur before I was being pulled into a bear hug, “Ellie!”
I laughed slightly as I realized who exactly was squeezing the life out of me. I pull back so I can look her in the eyes, “It’s good to see you Sawyer.”
She was just as beautiful as she was when I first met her. She was only a few inches taller than me with curly brown hair. Her brown eyes lit up as she took in me actually being her.
She was Walker’s mate, so when I first met Axton, she had immediately glued a friendship with me. She was always making me laugh and we both loved to play pranks on the boys when they annoyed us. She had been my first friend when I had come to this pack.
“I thought you were dead,” she broke as silent tears started to fall onto her face.
“We all did,” Walker said as he walked in the room and took Sawyer into his arms to comfort her.
I watched how they acted together. It reminded me of how Axton used to never want to let go of me. He had wanted to always keep me in his arms.
Key word: had.
“Yeah well I’m harder to kill than you thought, right Axton?” I turn towards him.
“Ellie, I have no clue what you are talking about.”
“Of course you don’t,” I snap, “You can’t have your pack know that you wanted your own mate dead.”
He froze for a second, “What?”
“You want to continue this ‘I didn’t reject you’ thing all you want Axton,” I tell him, my anger over the last seven years bubbling to the surface, “I don’t know if you are faking it or you actually forgot destroying everything we had, but I will not let you do this to me again.”
“Ellie, I never-”
“I don’t want to hear again how you didn’t do anything. We were both standing right about here as you looked me in the eye and broke our mate bond. You forced me to leave,” I try to keep my face neutral, but the memory of what happened that night and over the next couple months just kept replaying in my mind, “Well this time, you don’t have to reject me to make me leave. I’ll do it on my own.”