The way her name rolled off Skyler’s tongue sparked something inside Serena. It made her feel something she had never felt before. And his scent, the smell of pine combined with earth. It was so enticing, all she wanted to do was bathe in it. But was most surprising and unexpected, was the strong desire to leap into his arms and never let him go.
No, it couldn’t be.
He wasn’t, was he?
She didn’t want to know. She couldn’t know. For who would want someone such as her? A girl whose virtue is gone? A girl couldn’t stand to be touched, not even by her own flesh and blood? A girl who screamed bloody murder in her sleep?
No one would want her. No one deserved to be tied down to a girl such as she. Serena didn’t want to make Skyler’s life miserable. She would just have to keep away from him and under no circumstances could they touch. No, touching would confirm what couldn’t be true. That just meant she had to evade him for the next six weeks, should be easy enough, she hoped.
Serena dropped her gaze to the ground, only then realizing she had been staring at him. She took a couple quick steps back, realizing too late that she had moved towards the counselor. She barely escaped his touch, hating herself for wanting to feel his hand on her.
She turned to her brother. “I changed my mind. I’m tired. I’m going to take a nap before the masses show up.”
She and her brother both knew it was a lie. But Serena knew her brother, if he could tell she was uncomfortable, he would take her away.
“Alright. I’ll take you back to your cabin.”
She released a breath of relief. She had to get out of there. She had to get away from him before she did something stupid, like jump on him.
“Are you helping with registration?′
“Yeah.” No, no, no. She had to get away. Skyler’s voice was like a siren’s call. She fought every instinct to go to him. Just one word had her self control hanging on by a thread.
“I’ll see you after I drop her off.”
“See you then.”
Serena and Noah turned and started walking back the way they came. She could feel Skyler’s gaze on her back. He wasn’t helping her case. Not one bit. She believed he was doing it on purpose, trying to drag her in. But she wouldn’t give in. She refused to be the downfall in his life and mating with her would surely do the trick.
Only did she feel herself relaxing once she stepped into her cabin. Her shoulders sagged and she took a deep breath, not sure whether to feel grateful or sad that she couldn’t smell Skyler any longer.
“What was that?” Noah demanded.
“What was what?” She tried to sound innocent but she knew her brother had caught onto her.
“Don’t play games with me Serena. You two were staring at each other for a solid minute. What’s going on? Have you met each other before? Are you two mates or something?”
Oh shit, he was on to her. she couldn’t let him know. “No, no, no. that’s not it at all. I just... he just reminded me of someone. Not good memories. I just didn’t want to say anything because he’s your friend.”
“Did he do anything to you?”
“No, he just reminded me of someone else. I’ve never met him before. I promise. I just want to take a nap before everything gets more overwhelming.”
Noah nodded, though he was warried. “Alright, if you need anything, don’t hesitate to come to get me.”
“I know. You can lose the overprotectiveness, I’m alright. Everything is just kind of being thrown in my face right now and I just want to take a step back from it all. I’m not used to this.”
Her brother pressed his lips to her brow. “I know, I know. I’ll come to get you when lunch is being served.”
Serena closed the door and sagged against it. All remining strength left her and she slid down the door. She pulled her knees to her chest and her head between her knees. She took deep, soothing breaths. She needed to calm down. She needed to recollect herself. She couldn’t let herself lose control. Serena needed to do everything in her power to stay the hell away from Skyler. She just had to last through the six weeks. Then she could go home, convince her parents that she never wanted to go again.
Though she told herself that she didn’t want a mate, a part of her longed for him. The wolf inside her howled for her mate.
No, she had to focus. She would stay away from him, from her potential mate. She could not allow contact between them, for she was afraid of the truth she would learn. And if they touched, she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to pull away. She would give in to her primal nature. She would be with her mate.
But no matter that. She couldn’t. She couldn’t be with him. Serena was impure. What wolf would want his she-wolf that had given her virtue away?
The shame she would bring upon him, that thought of it was too much to bear. She dug her palms into her eyes, desperate to make the tears go away. Slowly, she stood up from her position on the floor and crawled into her chosen bed. She hugged her pillow to her chest.
She remained in her fetal position until she stopped hyperventilating. Her breathing slowed and her chest stopped heaving. Serena’s eyes drooped and she lost all consciousness, unaware of the presence outside the window.