The Forgotten Claim - The Claim: Book 1

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Chapter 9 - Cameron

She was still fighting tooth and nail against the matebond even though it toyed with her emotions. Cameron could tell by the way her heart raced and her delicate scent shifted with her emotions. He tried not to lean in and inhale deeply when she suddenly became aroused. Why was that? Did his presence affect her that much or did she remember something from that night?

It wasn’t fair that she could still remember everything. He wanted a glimpse of it. How did they meet? Did he make her laugh? Did she smile at him? Was he gentle? Rough? Did she beg for more? How badly did she want him?

She slipped up in revealing that she hadn’t had sex since. It was a relief as much as it made him even more proud to be her mate and the mother of his pup.

If he could take a guess, he guessed she hadn’t moved on from that night. That his disappearance struck her so hard, she never recovered.

He couldn’t erase the past as easily as his amnesia erased his memories, but he craved for the chance to make it up to her. To give her the love she rightly deserved.

That he rightly deserved.

When Chloe ran toward them, she caught his eye and smiled up at him.

She was so beautiful. She had Olivia’s gorgeous green eyes and his straight dark brown hair. He ached to pick her up and hold her. He lost so much time. She was growing up without him. Did she know who he was to her? Had Olivia told her anything about him?

He yearned to tell her who he was. He pined to be the father she deserved to have.

If Olivia could find it in herself to forgive him and give him a chance…

“Hi, Chloe. I’m Cameron. I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you,” he told her before Olivia could steal her away.

He knew he shouldn’t have done that. Knew that it was overstepping a line Olivia created and piss her off, but he was damned if he let her walk away with his daughter again. He wanted to tell Chloe the truth. He wanted to be a part of their lives. Didn’t she get that? Couldn’t she put the past behind her and give him a chance to reconnect with them?

Chloe needed him.

Olivia’s eyes widened in horror, her mouth falling open as her heart picked up speed.

Chloe tilted her head in confusion. “You have?”

He nodded, his heart squeezing with the desire to embrace her, cradle her in his arms and tell her how precious she was. He didn’t want either of them to leave. While Olivia stood a few feet away, fuming, he tried to think of something to calm her and earn him more quality time with Chloe.

“Yes. Can I buy you and your mom some ice cream?”

She smiled broadly, exposing her teeth, before looking up to Olivia for approval.

His plan wasn’t working. Panic mixed with anger had Olivia trembling, itching for a fight or to run.

“No thanks. We have to go now.” Her expression was firm, her eyes looking through him rather than at him.

Chloe’s fat bottom lip extended out.

Cameron narrowed his eyes at Olivia as he straightened up. “It’s just an ice cream cone. Ten minutes tops.”

He didn’t care if his voice was clipped. She was being unreasonable. He explained his side of the past as best as he could, and he was damned if he was going to let both of them slip through his fingers!

“I said we have to go.”

Dammit! He didn’t want to do this, but he had to if it meant giving him an advantage.

“Don’t you think Chloe deserves ten minutes with her father?”

Chloe’s eyes widened and darted between Cameron and Olivia, while Olivia’s brows knotted between her eyes that pierced through his soul.

“Her father lost all privileges the moment he walked out of her mother’s life, never to be seen or heard from again.”

“I already explained what happened, Olivia,” he said through clenched teeth. “What do you expect from me when I suffered amnesia? Shall I shave my head so the whole world can see the full extent of my mistake and the pain I endured by exposing my scar? Would that be enough proof to you that it happened and nothing I say or do can ever take me back to that morning?”

Setting her jaw, she tugged on Chloe’s hand. Chloe was still too stunned to speak and let her mother practically drag her away.

He shook his head and hurried ahead of her to block her path. “You think I can let you walk away? One mistake that was out of my control and you will punish me for the rest of my life?”

“One night is all you will ever have from me,” she shot back and tried to move around him.

He chased after her again and obstructed her means of escape with his body as his anger flared up. “You’re being unreasonable!”

She stopped and scowled at him. “Maybe if you gave me a proper reason for leaving, I might be a little more reasonable!”

“How am I supposed to remember what happened? How can you continue to push me away and punish me for this when what we had created someone so beautiful?”

Her face contorted with rage. “Don’t you dare, Cam. Don’t you dare drag her into this.”

“Why the—” He bit his tongue to keep himself from cursing in front of Chloe. “Why not? This isn’t just about you!”

She gritted her teeth. “Goodbye, Cam.”

“She deserves to know the truth!” he hollered at her back as she strode around him again.

Murmurs drifted up around them as people began to stare and Chloe became upset.

A pair of arms wrapped around his shoulders and pulled him back. Sam’s scent surrounded him as the younger, smaller male attempted to control him. Cameron shifted his weight, reached back and prepared to throw Sam over his shoulders when Sam growled in his ear.

“Let them go,” he whispered. “You can beat my ass later, but you won’t win her back like this.”

He watched Olivia stomp away with Chloe in tow.

A war waged within him. He could feel his fur pushing against his skin. The need to beat Sam to the ground and run after his mate and sink his teeth into her neck gripped him. The need to claim her and steal her back to his cabin where he would ravish her all night and eliminate any question of doubt she had in her mind of him ever leaving her again hammered against him.

But Sam was right. He had to cool his head and hold himself back. Losing his temper and screaming at each other in front of Chloe wasn’t going to fix anything or improve the situation. He would lose them for sure. He had to restrain his wolf, his instincts, his very nature from the primal drive that would only tear them all apart.

He clenched his fists at his side as anger and pain surged through him, while Sam kept him grounded.

How could she walk away and not feel anything?

When the wind blew her scent toward him, he could smell the truth. She was rejecting him but it was tearing her apart as well.

“Calm down,” Sam urged softly.

Snarling, Cameron yanked himself free of Sam’s hold and turned on him. “Fuck! Where were you?”

Sam folded his arms across his chest and peaked an eyebrow at him. “I’m sorry, did you need a babysitter?”

“Fuck off.”

“Chill or I’ll throw you in the pool.”

A low growl of warning rumbled up Cameron’s throat as he stared Sam down.

Sam quickly looked away in submission and shrugged his shoulders. “I had to take a leak. Sorry, I abandoned my post when you decided to turn into a raging bull but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t piss in front of the kids here.”

Cameron’s throat continued to rumble as an approaching security guard appeared in his peripheral vision. He cursed before urging Sam to follow him to the exit.

“You need to find another way of getting through to her,” Sam said as they tromped to the exit.

Cameron gritted his teeth. “I know that.”

“Good, I’m glad to hear it.”

Cameron punched him in the shoulder without uttering another word.

He dragged his pitiful ass back to the apartment and ransacked it of liquor, drowning himself to numb the pain and frustration before blacking out and coming around in the morning to put a new plan into action.

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