CHAPTER 19 - LILAC
I am the happiest person in this world at this very moment. My heat has finally left me, and I felt like I have fought and survived-ok, not really, I did end up marking him but with that aside, I did behave very well around Dominic. My maddening wolf is satisfied with her actions. She didn’t even feel remorseful.
Let’s just say, her and I are not on good terms right now.
Bygones are bygones.
Today is a new day. I have changed into a pretty blue and white print off-the-shoulder dress. It had a lightly flared mini skirt and a smocked bodice. I decided to wear my hair up into a messy bun and even put on makeup. Grabbing an old classic American literature book off the dresser, I wanted to soak the sun as much as possible by sitting outside underneath a tree and reading alone.
Opening the door, I smiled with triumph and stepped out only to bump into a hard chest and flying backward. My arms flailed for something to grab to stop me from falling like the clumsy klutz that I am but when my attempt to grab for the door handle failed. I settled on grasping like a maniac at the shoulders of the person who is blocking me from my plans this morning. My book clattered to the floor.
Opening my eyes, I stared into his glacial blue ones. When he had realized I was falling, he wrapped his arms around my waist.
After leaving his office a few days ago, we haven’t talked much since. Peyton told me it had to do with wrapping up and finalizing contracts for the new fiscal year. I wanted to go see him at work but he had placed two female guards at my door to stop me from leaving until my heat was over. Remembering this little aspect that he ordered, I suddenly recalled how furious I was with him. Even if deep inside, I did feel happy to see him again. I am still pissed.
I pushed hard against his chest. He unwrapped his arms around me once he realized I won’t be falling flat on my butt. Once I was far enough, I fixed my dress and tucked the loose strands of hair that escaped behind my ear.
“Oh, so you remember I am still here,” I said with extreme pettiness.
“What?” he looked super confused with my statement.
“You left me alone for the rest of my heat and then ordered two guards to guard my windows and doors. You made me a prisoner in your home,” I accused him.
He reached out for me but I wasn’t having any of that, no siree. I’m pouting like there was no tomorrow and I didn’t even care.
“Lilac,” he started gently.
The anger around my heart chipped a little but I still pinched my lips together and lifted my chin high. Crossing my arms, I continued to glare at him.
“I had to put guards on your doors. You broke one of the guard’s noses trying to escape last time. Your heat- ”
“I know I was in my heat,” I snapped, “but you shouldn’t have left me alone.”
His thick eyebrows furrowed down into a deep V on his forehead.
“What? You missed me?” That confused look turned into a smirk.
I snorted, “No.”
Yes! Damn this mate bond. I can feel how happy he is to see me. How much he missed me. I’m trying to be mad here.
“I’m sorry. It’s just been hectic at work and with the chief meeting being pushed, I just haven’t had the time. Let me make it up to you,” he said while opening his palm out for me to place mine in.
He looks so freaking adorable standing there in khaki pants and in a white polo t-shirt. His blue eyes shimmering with mirth and emotion that tugged at my heartstrings.
“I’m still mad at you,” I said while slipping my hand into his.
He chuckled, “Noted.”
He placed his free hand over my hand before slipping it higher to his elbow, keeping it there. Together we walked downstairs.
“Why was the meeting pushed?” I asked.
“I had a lot of my plate. The Werewolf Affiliation is following up on the attack, the national pack conference, and to top it all off, my own pack chiefs are acting out of line,” he sighed, “disobeying orders and doing whatever they want.”
I can feel the distress and guilt flowing through the bond. The pack chiefs are becoming insolent. Maybe taking up on Peyton’s offer isn’t a bad idea. This can’t be overlooked because insolence will lead to superfluous confidence. That kind of domino effect needs an Alpha to intervene. Disorder within the pack will lead to chaos.
“When is the meeting?” I asked.
He was leading me out to a car that is waiting for us outside the driveway. Cody opened the backdoor for us to slip inside. Today, in particular, is a very hot day. The sun almost at its highest point in the sky and barely a breeze in the air.
“It is tonight,” he answered.
“Who will all be there,” I asked just as Cody slipped in and pulled us out of the driveway and the through the front gates, “and where are we going?”
He laughed a little at all my questions before squeezing my hand that was now again intertwined with his hand and resting on his lap.
“What have your studies told you about these meetings?” he asked.
I pursed my lips and recalled all the Luna and Alpha management classes that I took. Pack chief meetings are formal meetings amongst the leaders of the pack that governs a part of the territory. At these meetings, they discuss territory issues, border intrusions, and crimes. Important information that only should include pack chiefs and leaders.
“Peyton told me that he will be going in your place,” I stated.
He nodded, “Originally, yes, but circumstances call for my presence at the meeting.”
“I should be there with you,” I announced.
One corner of his lip lifted and his eyes softened, “I don’t think you want to hear what they are saying about me.”
A sudden surge of protectiveness climbed from the pit of my stomach and spread all over my chest. Those pack chiefs haven’t seen anything yet. My wolf is unhappy to hear about disobedience. She pushed through my mind to remind me who we are. We are Alphas. We have trained all our lives to handle these issues. There will be no disorder within the pack.
“What about you? You’re blind? Newsflash, I already knew that,” I retorted.
He gave a short laugh and shook his head but I can feel how upset he is with himself. I didn’t know before but after the mate bond, I can see how seriously he takes his position as Alpha. It’s making him upset and angry with himself.
“I am a disable Alpha, Lilac. No one will want to be protected by me,” he said in defeat.
“I don’t think the same way as you do. Your disability is not a weakness. In the time that I have lived with you and gotten to know, you have not once disappointed me. I ran out of your home and you managed to find me in a city that you rule. You managed to control my beast and bring me home.” I pointed out.
“That’s because I have the help of others,” he interjected.
“A leader does not rule alone. A leader knows when to seek help when he needs it. You do not need to always rely on yourself, Dominic. Although your pack chiefs are doubting your ability to rule, you have thousands of pack members who will fight to the end to defend you. Do you know why?” I asked but didn’t wait for him to respond, “Because you are generous, fair, and have protected them for so long—because your family never once failed to protect them. They have pledged their loyalty to you because you are an honest man not because you can’t fight. A strong pack is not because of one person. Strength comes in many.”
His hands tightened around my hands. He lifted my hand up and brought it to his lips where he brushed his lips across the back of my hand. It was a very intimate yet innocent gesture. It made my heart race. His walls were up again on the mate bond but that was his form of saying ‘thank you’.
“I’m taking you out on a date, Lilac,” he whispered answered my other question.
It was then I remembered we were driving somewhere. I tore my eyes away from him to look at my surroundings. I realized that I haven’t really explored San Francisco yet since arriving here. Cody pulled up close to a beautiful building that looked almost like a train station.
Laughing a little confused as to why we are here, I turned my attention back to Dominic.
“We are at the train station?” I asked.
He chuckled, “It is the Ferry Building here in San Francisco.”
Cody parked the car before opening the door. Dominic slipped out before I followed after him. I made sure to wrap my hands around his elbow but instead, he removed my hands. Wrapped one arm around my shoulder and took upon himself to wrap my arm that was between us around his waist.
He turned his face toward me. A smile appearing on his face that had me trying to catch my breath. He smells so good too.
“Just making sure you will stay by my side,” he murmured softly to me before we walked up to the steps and inside the Ferry Building.
Inside, there were many people walking around. A few werewolves that I can sniff out turned to look at us. Surprised to see that it was their Alpha out and about.
“This Ferry Building is a historic landmark for the city of San Francisco,” he whispered to me as we entered further inside the building.
I can feel his warm breath blowing against my forehead as he turned to whispered close. Animated voices filled the vast building. Multiple vendors and merchants selling baked goods, organic honey, books, all kinds of food, and organic vegetables. Their little tables filled with beautiful colors and assortments.
The smell of vanilla and caramel coffee beans hits my nostrils and on instinct, I turned to my left and saw an espresso bar. I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee. It is comforting and in a spiritual way, wakes my spirit.
“Mm, coffee,” I closed my eyes and inhaled.
Dominic chuckled next to me, “Want some?”
“Can we?” I asked. “I haven’t had my morning cup yet.”
Instead of answering, he squeezed my waist to urge me towards the bar. Dominic might not have mentioned to me but I can tell he was somewhat uncomfortable. There were many people, voices, and smells. It is interfering with his senses. Usually, he is okay taking lead even when he can’t see but with the squeeze of my waist and him holding back. I knew it was hard on him to come out like this.
He did it for me.
He wanted to go out on a date with me.
We explored the rest of the building for the remainder of the day. We ate in one of the restaurants. Bought a few goods and wares along with some donuts to bring home to Peyton before made a final stop outback to view the beautiful bridge of San Francisco.
The scenery was beautiful underneath the sun. I placed my hands on the rails in front of me and couldn’t stop smiling. I loved it. Dominic still had his hand around my waist, but he allowed me to take in the view.
I turned my face to look at him but saw how he didn’t bear the same excitement as me. Pulling back and away from the rail, I felt him pull me back into the crook of his side.
“How does it look?” he whispered.
“Have you ever seen this scenery before?” I asked.
He nodded. “Many times.”
I dug into the mate bond to get a feeling of his emotions. His face wasn’t revealing anything and I wanted to know what he was thinking. My prodding proved to be successful when I gained a thought from him.
He wanted to see my reaction.
“It’s beautiful, Dominic. I can’t stop smiling,” I turned in his arms and took hold of his wrists. Bringing them up to my cheeks so that he can feel how happy I am. Tingles flared from our touch and I couldn’t stop closing my eyes and letting it take over my body. I felt his thumb caressed my smile.
He gave a small smile then.
“I love overlooking the open water. I don’t know what about it that makes me feel free—free of worries, free of pain. It makes me happy,” I told him.
“I know that feeling,” he agreed.
Smiling wider, I allowed him to continue to caress my lips and cheeks.
“You have a beautiful smile,” he smiled then, flashing his teeth and dimpled cheeks.
Fighting back the overwhelming number of emotions inside of me, I turned my cheek and pressed my lips against the palm of his hand. He inhaled deeply in surprise before I pulled back and returned his arm around my waist.
“It’s getting late, we should probably head back and get ready for the meeting tonight,” I announced.
“You’ll go with me?” he asked.
“You won’t fight them alone. If anything, I am one person you can count on to always be there for you,” I admitted and realized I have admitted a very strong feeling of mine. Biting my lips, I looked up at him from underneath my eyelashes.
His hand tightened around my waist and I watched his chest swell with emotions. His eyes glistened with gratitude.
“Thank you,” he whispered.
As we headed back home, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had said to him. It’s the truth. I will always stand next to him. I will always defend him. I see how he hid his insecurities and I never again want him to doubt how great he is.
A part of me wondered why I am feeling this way but deep inside, I know why I feel this way.
I am beyond just feelings for Dominic. There is definitely more than just feelings.