After Cassius explained to me their theory of me being the reincarnation of Anastasia, I requested time alone to absorb everything. Quite honestly, everything was too much and every now and then I felt an overwhelming sense to run. However, every time I think about leaving, my heart and body ache. I couldn’t bring myself to leave Cassius which brings me to the mate bond. Was it true?
Was I bonded to Cassius or was is it simply an infatuation and he has it all wrong?
He told me Anastasia had died five years ago along with uncle when they were on a mission in the woods. During that time, every capable werewolf in the pack had gone out on the mission. Only a few stayed behind to protect the weak, elderly, and children. Anastasia was supposed to remain inside but she was restless. Cassius was gone too long and she couldn’t wait. She walked to the edge of the woods and was killed by an enemy. That night, Cassius’s uncle died and that night Cassius lost his mate and gained the Alpha title.
After he returned he knew something was wrong. When he found out Anastasia was dead, his world stopped. He left the pack weak for months. He thought everything was over until he met me.
Fleeing would be a sign of weakness. It will also mean I didn’t give Cassius and I a chance but did I really want to give us a chance? Am I really deciding on staying here forever?
Yes, you do. You need closure. It’s why you keep coming back to this place.
Listening to the voice inside of me, I knew it was right. I needed closure from my family’s death. With that, I decided to stay for the time being but I made a promise not to let anyone push me where I didn’t want to go.
Standing up I walked out of the bedroom and down the hall. Merry voices and laughter echoed through the hallways. The people that were decorating the hallways with Christmas decorations stopped to look at me. It was then I realized why they were staring at me because I looked like Anastasia.
Their scrutiny was very uncomfortable. I avoided all their eyes and made my way to the stairs that were decorated with Christmas garlands. I passed the people that were decorating in the grand foyer and coyly glanced out to the front yard.
Kids were playing outside and suddenly I felt the urge to also step outside. Peeking from underneath my eyelashes, I noticed that everyone around me got back to working on decorating. I smiled as I quickly slipped into a small room by the front door that held shoes, jackets, mittens, everything you can think of.
Quickly before anyone can notice, I pulled on a heavy winter jacket and snow boots. Grabbing some furry mittens off the shelves, I slipped outside before anyone noticed or can stop me.
The fresh Alaskan breeze burred past me and I shiver feeling chills crawl up my skin but it didn’t stop me. After being holed up for two days, I was more than ready to be outside. I walked over to the kids that were laughing and sledding down the hill with a wooden sleigh.
When I was a child, I never got the chance to truly enjoy being carefree. My dad drilled me constantly. Sometimes it gets too much and I will cry and beg to go outside and play. My dad was too frightened of what was out there that he wouldn’t let me go.
I remember one time I had snuck out of the cottage to build a snowman and a fort. My dad came out screaming. As a child, it scared me and I ran inside like a lightning bolt.
“Want to go on it?” Cassius’s voice came from behind me.
I rolled my eyes. Of course, he will follow and watch me like a hawk. I turned around and gave him a pointed look. The corner of his lip lifted before he took hold of my gloved hand in his and walked over to a tree that had several sleds leaning against it.
He carried it with one hand and we carried it back to where the children were. Some of the older children looked at Cassius with wide eyes as if they were not believing what they were seeing.
Giggling I said, “I have been getting those looks all day.”
He finally takes notice of the attention he was getting, “It’s because they haven’t seen their Alpha go on a sled before.”
“Alpha?” I looked at him. I know what that was. I practically studied wolves all my life but I didn’t think Cassius they will use the same terms.
He nodded, “We use the same terminology as wolves. We are not them but we are derived from them.”
I nodded with understanding, “Alpha Cassius Dashkov.”
The name brought an excited wave over my body and I bit my bottom lip. Cassius touched my bottom lip with his thumb and my eyes flickered to meet his.
“Stop biting your lip.” He ordered. “It’s distracting.”
“Then don’t look.” I mumbled.
He pulled me down to sit in front of him and wrapped his legs and arms around me. His hands moved to hold onto the rail.
“Amelia, you’re asking the impossible from me because when it comes to you all I do is look.” There was a slight possessive growl that peaked in his voice at the end.
I looked down the hill and suddenly felt a little scared. It was a pretty steep hill.
“I think this is a very good moment to mention to you that I don’t exactly know how to sled. I have never been on- “
The sled was moving and before I knew it we were zipping down the hill. It was exhilarating. I squeaked before laughing at the end. When the sled finally stopped, Cassius pinched my chin between his thumb and index, turning me to look at him.
“I love your laughter. I want to hear it every day.” He said.
When I am this close to him, it was hard to think. When I gaze into his eyes though, it makes it hard for me to breathe because they were so beautiful—dark, soft, and mysterious.
“Ah-hem.” Someone pretended to cough behind us. We both whipped our heads up to see Cora staring down at us with a huge grin on her face.
“Cora.” Cassius growled.
“This is memorable. Someone give me a damn camera!” Cora screeched in delight.
“I got it!” Leo responded running over with his phone. “Here, just let me-“
“Oh, let me handle it.” Cora grabbed the phone and made a few swipes before we heard a click.
“Cora.” Cassius growled angrily before standing up and helping me up.
“Delete that picture.” Cassius ordered.
“Don’t come any closer, Cassius. This is the first picture I have of you two.” She put a hand out.
“I don’t like my picture being taken.” I mentioned but Cora didn’t care.
“Delete it.” Cassius ordered again.
“Nah uh. Don’t come any closer or I’ll sic the pups after you.”
Cassius ignored Cora’s threat and she whistled between her teeth. Out of nowhere snowballs started flying at Cassius and me. I let out a shriek and jumped behind Cassius. Laughter escaped me when I saw one hit his head, face, and chest. He growled and tried to push me in front of him.
“Oh no! I am not taking the hits for you.” I said in between laughter before breaking away from him.
“Come back here.” He ordered me this time.
Still smiling I shook my head, “Nope.”
“Fine.” He scooped up some snow and formed into a ball before throwing it at me. It hit me in the face. The kids burst out laughing and I can hear Cora and Leo laughing along with them.
“This means war!” I declared before scooping up my own snowball and throwing at him.
Soon we were throwing snowballs left and right and the kids even joined in. It was the most fun I had. Halfway through I saw a little boy jump behind a snow wall that they built. Laughing and dodging Cassius’s constantly incoming snowballs I jumped behind the fort wall.
We played well into the day until I grew exhausted. Some of the kids have gone inside, only a few remain. Cassius came to my side and poked my cheeks and nose.
“You’re cold. Your cheeks and nose are red. We should get you inside.” He said worriedly.
When we got inside the mansion was warm and cozy. I can smell hot chocolate and baked goods. It was unfamiliar to me but it made me feel fuzzy inside.
Cassius led me into a private room that had a fireplace going. It looked like an office.
“Stay here.” He said before disappearing again.
I decided to take off my clothes and sit by the fire place to wait for him. A blanket that was draped over the sofa, I used it to wrap around me. When he returned, he was carrying a tray with two cups of hot chocolate and warm brownies.
“Oh, you are my hero. I could kiss you right now.” I moaned as I took a sip of the hot chocolate.
When I opened my eyes, he was staring at me with dark smoldering eyes. I felt my heart skip a beat and my cheeks heat up from something else.
“I don’t think you have the guts, Amelia. The last time you kissed me, you literally pulled back like I was electrocuted you.” He taunted, his lips turning into a devilish grin.
“Don’t bait me, Cassius.” I snapped before turning away to sip on my hot chocolate.
He chuckled and began eating his brownie. We sat in silence for a few minutes, perfectly content in finishing our brownie and hot chocolate. I was the first one to speak.
“I never had that much fun before.” I told him. “Sledding and playing snow ball fights. My dad didn’t like me playing outside alone and the times that I did attempt to go outside alone he will punish me by making me train extra harder.”
I stared into the flames, not looking at him. Memories played in my mind. In a way, I missed my dad. Although he wasn’t the greatest, he loved me regardless. He was overly protective and sometimes it didn’t give me a chance to do what I really wanted to do but I knew it for my own good.
“When we were little, Cora and I always went outside to play in the snow. She is a damn good thrower and I always ended up shoving her into a pile of snow. When she was little, she will go home crying to our parents.” Cassius chuckled at the memory. He glanced my way and I met his eyes. “I understand why your dad did what he did but now that you’re here with me, I want to show you what you could do.”
Could I fall even harder for him? The things he says---it turns me into a blubbering mess. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and so I did what he taunted me earlier. I moved in and kissed him.
I brushed my lips over his before the tip of my tongue traced over the seam of his lips. His lips parted slightly and gathering the knowledge I have learned from our kiss at the ice rink, I sucked on his lower lip gently. It was slow and hesitant at first but when I heard him groan with pleasure I grew more confident. I moved to straddle his hips and cradle his face between my hands, deepening and controlling our kiss. I felt his hands on my jean cladded ass, squeezing and palming it in his hands.
Something came alive inside of me—an unquenchable fire and thirst. Our kiss became fervent and heated. I heard him growl before he flipped me over onto the blanket I had over my shoulder. He expertly maneuvered me underneath with him perfectly nestled between my legs. I could feel the hard bulge that pressed against my core. My mind was becoming clouded. I couldn’t think. I could only feel.