“Why did you leave me?”
His second question sounded softer than the first. His hard body had turned to glass, liable to be broken by her words.
“It wasn’t you,” Karen declared as her eyes glassed over. “I had… problems I had to take care of. I was afraid of not being good enough. I was afraid of falling into darkness again.”
Not good enough.
He didn’t understand what in the hell the woman was going on about. She was an alpha’s daughter, so she had wealth status. She was also beautiful and capable. What in the Goddess’ grey moon was missing?
His eyes narrowed on her hand. It was tucked by her side, nearly hidden. She was pinching her side, hurting herself.
Rising to his full height, he rounded the coffee table. Karen craned her neck back like everyone did to meet his eyes. He offered no words as he gripped her hand and pulled it away from her stomach.
“Don’t do this. Don’t hurt yourself.”
Her towel fell from her shoulders, revealing her shoulders and breasts. The sight of her hard nipples impaling the front of his shirt was so lewd that his head caught fire.
Karen was built differently than most werewolf women. She was softer, rounder, malleable.
He could bury his face in her stomach or thighs, take a break from the world within her. She was an ocean that could let him disappear. She freed him. He was no longer a slave to attention.
It was like the Moon Goddess recognized that he suffered through enough hardship in the world, and decided to give him a break by gifting him this woman.
Did she not see how special her design was?
“I’m sorry,” Karen caved. “I got psychological help, and I tried to call you many times, but I could never go through with it.”
Stone’s anger lingered. His humanity demanded to blame someone for the constant rejection that he was dealt throughout life, but he refused to direct it at her. If there’s one thing the stories of Sol and Arabella taught him, it was that he shouldn’t let his colors consume him.
“When I was twelve,” he sighed, the memories too raw. “I used to kneel for five hours every night. I hoped it would stop my growth. I only managed to bruise my knees. I know what you're feeling, but you shouldn't hurt yourself."
She hung her head, ashamed that she slipped back into one of her habits.
“I’m glad you’re here. I was alone.”
He pulled her hand into his– the hand she denied him for two years.
“You’re not mad? You’re not mad that it took me so long?”
“No, because you came back. No one ever comes back.”
She had no idea what he meant, but the small sigh that fluttered past his lips and the way he abandoned her gaze made her realize that he was tired. Not physically, but something deeper.
“You should get some rest. Its been a crazy day,” Stone declared as he began to retreat. “You can sleep in any room you’d like. I’m on the top floor.”
He shifted his weight from one leg to another, hinting at his internal war. Choosing to release what was distressing him, he bent down and pecked her cheek.
He didn’t wait for her reaction. For once, he was happy to have long legs since they easily carried him away from his mate who was blushing as terribly as him.
He made his way into his room and collapsed on the bed. His cheeks hurt as they stretched to accommodate his smile.–
Karen woke up before the house’s owner. She knew she had to call her father, so she decided to make breakfast to build the energy needed to face his wrath.
She walked around the kitchen in flip flops that looked comically big on her. Everything was magnified. The fridge, stove, counter, and dining table were not built for the standard male. The small world was obviously customized for Stone’s height.
She reached for the cupboards that were hanging over the sink, blinking with amazement when her fingertips barely managed to scrape the shelf where the plates were.
This is ridiculous, she thought as she pulled over a chair and positioned it.
She stood on it and was finally granted access to the plates. She grabbed two, only to drop them like they were hot when an automated voice scared the balance out of her.
Good morning, Beta Stone. The time is seven AM.
Karen stared at the disaster of glass she had made, her body cementing when she heard pounding footsteps.
“Karen?” a very awake, extremely shirtless, exceptionally worried Stone called out as he rounded the corner.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to!”
Stone took in the mess and sent a silent thank you to the Moon. He would have been beside himself if she got hurt.
“It’s okay,” he eased as he stepped closer. He noticed that even with the chair under her, she was still not as tall as him. The detail warmed him better than the sunlight that was caressing his exposed back.
Without thinking twice, he covered her hips with his big hands and moved her to the ground, away from the glass. Karen became stiff, not used to men easily shifting her weight around. Stone didn’t notice, too concentrated on cleaning up the glass to protect her bare feet. “Sol isn’t a fan of the voice assistant either. He nearly dropped Light when he heard it go off the first time,” he chuckled and pulled a broom from a supply closet.
Karen stared at his shirtless back, which he didn’t get a chance to cover since he stormed downstairs. She made a mental note to drop some more plates the following morning.
“I had to use a chair. Everything is so… high,” she mumbled as she continued to examine his marble kitchen.
“I can’t use the appliances you imps use,” he joked as he threw the glass out.
“How tall are you exactly?” she asked as she checked his fridge for eggs.
“Seven feet and too many inches.”
He turned to her and watched her move around his space. The sight was so overwhelming that he forgot about helping her make breakfast. Seeing her touch his home and getting used to his world was homely.
He didn’t have much experience with homeliness, but he was more than ready to get acquainted.