The Monsters We Hide

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Chapter 14

A week had gone by and Logan still wasn't talking to me. I was giving him space like he wanted and he was obviously giving me some as well. Over the past week, though, he's come to all the pack dinners and as they warmed up around him and vice versa, they seemed to accept him.

Mackenzie still wasn't sure where she fit in anymore, as she had been Luna for several years. Logan asked her what she was doing before she became Luna and when she answered that she was a scout, Logan told her that she can just go back to doing that. The wall of ice that the pack members had built around Logan slowly melted down and they became more acquainted with him.

He gave out the orders, like an Alpha was supposed to and expected each of us to do our duties sufficiently. He didn't change anyone's ranks, which I could tell pleased my brother, for he worked hard to get up to the top Gamma position as Beta.

When I spoke to Abby while she was helping me clean the dishes, she admitted that she told me that she wouldn't mind Logan taking a chunk out of her. Her words, not mine. I shuddered at the image her words created in my mind.

It was my birthday tomorrow and Mom and Dad had surprised me by asking to speak with me after I was done with the dishes. When I finished putting up the last of them, I went to meet my parents in the living room. They were both sitting next to each other on the couch.

As I sat at the chair across from them, I stared at the couple that I had called Mom and Dad growing up. They took me in and raised me, but these past few years, I saw no trace of the father that used to joke with me and run around the yard with me, playing tag. I only caught glimpses of the loving side of my headstrong mother now. She'd occasionally send me a warm look, but it has been awhile since we've spoken.

Though these two weren't my biological parents, that's the way I saw them growing up, but now I wasn't sure what to call them. They weren't a huge part of my life like they once were.

My mother spoke first. "It's your birthday tomorrow," she said, stating the obvious. I nodded and Dad took over whatever Mom was about to say.

"Since you're turning twenty four, we think it's best that you go ahead and mate. We've already arranged it and the ceremony will take place on Sunday." I felt the blood drain from my face as I blanched. I couldn't be mated. I wasn't ready. I was about to voice my thoughts, but what came out of my mouth was completely different than what I had intended.

"With who?" My mother smiled kindly at me and said "This is the part I think you'll be excited about. We've arranged for you to mate with Gage!" She sounded completely giddy. I swallowed the lump in my throat. They were doing exactly what I didn't want them to. They were arranging my mating ceremony.

At least it was with Gage and not some stranger that I didn't even know, but I wasn't ready for it.

"Does Gage know about it," I ask shakily. They both nodded and Mom said "We told him about it a couple weeks ago. He was reluctant at first but we talked him into it." My heart sped up. Gage already knew and he didn't tell me. It seems like he didn't even want to do it, but my parents "talked" him into it. Did they bribe him? Blackmail I'm? Does he even actually like me? What if he was doing this for my parents satisfaction?

The last thought brought a pang to my chest. I let out a dry sob. It was like I still wasn't wanted, even after all this time. I wanted to talk to Gage but he wasn't at dinner. I didn't have any idea where he was and after I got up and walked absentmindedly to my room, he didn't answer any of the texts I sent him either.

I laid on my bed and thought about what my parents told me. It was probably all just some hoax. Gage didn't want me, ge just wanted to please my parents. That's why his actions changed out of nowhere. I thought of all the times I let him kiss me, wondering if that and everything he said was a lie.

I felt the tears sting my eyes as I tried to suppress my sobs, but they were stronger than me. I cried and sobbed and when the door slowly swung open and shut again, and a familiar scent filled my nose, I didn't move. He sighed and I felt the bed dip under his weight. He pulled me up to cradle me on his lap and I cried into his broad, muscled chest while he rocked me and stroked my hair.

"What's wrong baby," Logan whispered into my hair. I didn't say anything as I buried my head deeper into his chest. He rubbed soothing circles at the small of my back, consoling me. I calmed down a bit with his caresses and his rhythmic breathing.

He placed a featherlight kiss on my forehead when I stopped crying and it made me feel weak and vulnerable. We sat there like that for awhile in a comfortable silence, despite the tension that had been building between us this past week.

After a while, he broke the silence. "Why don't you get dressed and we'll go somewhere to take your mind off of it?" I nodded and slowly slid off his lap to stand. I grabbed some clothes from my closet and wardrobe and walked into the bathroom.

I took a quick shower and threw on the black skirt that was just above knee length and the off the shoulder red blouse. I brushed out my long hair and pulled it into a messy bun on top of my head.

I stepped out and Logan was in the room, but he had different clothes on. Instead of the sweatshirt and pants, he now had on a fitted tee shirt that stretched across his torso, showing off his muscled chest along with black jeans. His shaggy hair was wet and pushed out of his face, like he ran his hand through it.

He gave me a soft smile which I tried to return, but I think it came out more as a grimace. He led me downstairs and we got in the same car that we took last week. We tried to be quiet since everyone else was probably asleep. I didn't ask where were going, because I didn't really care. I just wanted to get my mind off of everything that had happened.

We pulled in at a popular bar in town and I looked at Logan with raised eyebrows. "I've never been to a bar before," I told him. He smiled wolfishly and said "We'll then you'll enjoy it more. Come on." I sighed and got out after him.

We walked in together after the bouncer checked our ID and saw that it was a dimly lit room, with music blaring from the speakers and people dancing in the middle of the floor. I followed Logan to the bar and sat on the stool beside him.

Logan started asking for something from the bartender, but I wasn't paying attention. I was looking around at all the people dancing and grinding on each other. Logan's voice pulled me from my thoughts and I looked over at him.

"Want anything," he asked. I shook my head. I've never drank alcohol before and I wanted to hold off on it for as long as possible. "I don't drink," I murmured quietly. Even in the loud room full of people, I knew he heard me.

"I'm going to the bathroom real quick. Stay here," he said quietly. I nodded and he walked away. I scanned the crowd again. Something didn't feel right, but I couldn't figure out what it was exactly. My senses didn't work that well with all the mingled scents and the music blaring through the speakers.

Finally, I caught sight of him. He was with a girl that I didn't recognize and he had his tongue down her throat. I wanted to cry and punch him at the same time, but before I felt the burning of tears in my eyes, my feelings of anger and betrayal overwhelmed me and I found myself marching towards him.

I tapped him on the shoulder and he spun around. His expression quickly changed from annoyance to shock. "Annie? What- why- what are you doing here," he stammered. "I could ask you the same thing Gage. I turned towards the blonde that he was sucking face with. She looked surprised and hurt all at once.

"Sorry to interrupt," I said sourly. "But I just came over here to break up with my boyfriend." Her mouth shaped into a shocked "o" and she turned to look accusingly at Gage. I guess he had been playing her too.

I turned to walk away, but Gage grabbed my arm with a pleading look in his eyes. "Shyanne, I'm sorry. I'll come home with you, just please don't do this. The ceremony is in two days. I just wanted a little more freedom before we tied the knot."

I snorted. "I don't want to hear your bullshit excuses Gage. You've been lying to me the whole time and you couldn't even tell me about the ceremony that you've known about for weeks! I don't even think you like me. You probably just started being nicer to me because you found out about so you figured, why not go ahead and get used to her."

I knew that I had hit the nail on the head when he stayed quiet and looked down at his feet. I scoffed and shook my head. "You are a terrible person Gage. I'm not doing the ceremony," I told him. He looked up, eyes wide.

"What? Annie, you have to! Your parents already arranged it. You and I are supposed to be mated in two days. You can't just not do it," he hissed too quietly for human ears. I tugged my arm away from his grasp. "Watch me."

"Dammit Shyanne! You're not leaving me," he said, roughly pulling my arm. I whimpered in pain as his fingers and nails dug into my skin. I looked up at him. He wouldn't really hurt me would he? The heat and anger I saw in his eyes told me that he would.

"You're coming with me. Let's go," he growled. He started pulling me through the crowd, leaving the blonde behind.

"Gage! Let me go! I'm not going anywhere with you," I yelled at him. My patience was wearing out and I could smell my own fear as he tugged me forward.

A familiar scent hit my nose and Gage abruptly stopped when Logan stepped in front of him, crossing his arms. "I think you should listen to her," he said with his commanding alpha powers radiating from him. Gage froze and looked back to glare at me. He turned and pressed his lips against my ear.

"This isn't over Annie. We will talk at home and you will become my mate whether you want to or not," he hissed. I felt the blood drain from my face. Why was he doing this?

He let me go and walked out, sending an accusatory glance at Logan as he passed by. Without saying a word, I went back to the bar. Logan came up behind me.

"Are you okay," he asked softly. I nodded and he asked another question. "What was that about?" I bit my lip and continued to avoid looking back at Logan as I leaned against the bar. As Alpha, he would most likely approve of the ceremony, so telling him about it would just make matters worse.

His arms slid around me and onto the bar and his chest was pressed against my back as he whispered in my ear. "Please tell me what's wrong, Shyanne."

I took a shaky breath and reluctantly answered. "My parents arranged a mating ceremony for me. It's supposed to happen Sunday, with Gage, but I saw him making out with some other girl and I broke up with him and he got mad. Then he told me that the ceremony will happen whether I want it to or not. I don't want to be mated to him though," I explained quietly.

I turned around so that I was facing him and realized how close he was. His eyes were burning with emotion when I looked up into them. Even in the dim light, I could see the blue silvery eyes as clearly as if we were outside in a sunny area.

"I need a drink," I whispered. I felt like I did. I needed to calm down and relax and from what I've heard of alcohol, it can help by doing just that.

Logan didn't move when he called to the bartender. "Can we get two shots of tequila?" I heard the sliding off glass across the countertop and I turned away when Logan came to stand beside me. He looked at me, the corner of his mouth slightly hitched up.

"This will probably taste bad since its your first time drinking," he warned me. I felt a little nervous but when Logan counted down from three, I threw my head back, pouring the burning liquid down my throat. We downed a few more shots and Logan held his hand up.

"Okay. We need to stop. I'm not letting you get drunk," he said. I nodded and didn't say anything. Honestly, everything already felt a little fuzzy and my tongue felt heavy.

He smiled and took my hand, leading me to the dance floor. Over the past half hour, more and more people showed up and the club was crowded. I was reluctant to dance at first, but as the music played on, I statted swaying my hips to the music. I didn't recognize the song, but I liked the rhythm.

A slower song came on and Logan pulled me to him, wrapping his arms around my waist while I wound mine around his neck. I laid my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes, enjoying his scent that filled my nose as we danced slowly. We kept swaying like that even though the song had changed into a faster rhythm.

"Shyanne?" I looked up through bleary eyes when Logan called my name. "Yeah?"

"Did you wanna get out of here," he asked. I nodded and he used his ghost smile. He took my hand in his large one and walked us out to the car.

"Can we not go home," I asked after we were buckled in. He looked at me with an expression of curiosity.

"Where are we gonna go?" I thought for a moment and shrugged in reply.

"I don't know. I just don't want to deal with Gage right now." His eyes flashed and he nodded before cranking the car. I laid my head back on the headrest of the seat and closed my eyes. I felt sleepy and tired, wanting to take a quick nap. Before I knew it, darkness washed over me, encasing me into a dreamless sleep.

I opened my still heavy eyelids and saw that I was moving, but my legs weren't on the ground. "I'm flying," I noted with a lazy smile. I felt something shake against my side and looked up to see Logan's smiling face.

"Are you flying too," I asked. He chuckled again and shook his head. "No. I'm carrying you silly." I let my mouth drop in disappointment. My dreams of flying would never come true.

"Where are we," I asked him.

"We're at my old house. You said you didn't want to go home, so I figured this was an alternative," he explained. "Mmm," I hummed and snuggled into his chest. He opened a door and seconds later, he set me down on a big, soft bed. He leaned down and kissed my forehead before standing up.

"Good night princess," he said softly. I reached and grabbed his arm. "Will you stay with me," I asked. Something flashed in his eyes again but it cleared away after blinking and he gave me one small nod before kicking off his shoes and he reached down and gently pulled mine from my feet.

Then he climbed over me to lay on my other side, pulling his tee shirt off before laying down. I couldn't help but stare. I wasn't completely sure if this was the first time I had seen his bare torso, but it was the first time I noticed the tattoo on his shoulder.

It looked to be a tribal wolf with extended fangs and I took this to mean that it represented a lycan. Without thinking, I slowly pulled my hand up to trace the inked skin lightly with my fingers. After tracing the wolf a couple times, I laid my palm flat across the tattoo, completely covering it.

"I like your tattoo," I whispered. "I've always wanted a tattoo, but Mom says that it's wrong to mark your body before your mate does," I admitted.

A corner of his mouth pulled up and he gave me a lopsided smile. I stared at the way it played on his handsome face. I hadn't seen him smile like that before and I don't think I've ever really seen him give a full smile.

On Gage, the lopsided smile seemed boyish and charming. On Logan, it seemed rugged and sexy, with a hint of something dangerous and I couldn't help but find it alluring.

He finally lifted his arm and wrapped it around me, pulling me closer to him. My forehead was pressed against his chest and I breathed him in. His scent was even stronger without the fabric of his shirt influencing it.

"What would you get a tattoo of," he asked in a whisper. I had thought about this a few times, so I already knew my answer and I didn't hesitate to tell him.

"I would get a tattoo that looked exactly like my charm," I revealed. He asked me why I chose that and I answered after figuring out how to word it.

"So I could be reminded of where I come from. My birth mother had left the necklace to Elizabeth so I could keep it. It was an hourglass. It meant time, obviously, but in my mother's letter, she said that it represented the fact that we don't always have all the time in the world. We should cherish it and go after what we want in life, whether you're scared or not. You shouldn't be afraid to take a risk because you may not have time to do it later," I explained quietly.

He stared at me with such a burning intensity in his eyes, it was like burning ice. He pressed a swift kiss to my lips and for a second, I thought of pulling him back in to savor the taste of him, but vetoed the idea when my eyelids drooped closed and a small smile played on my lips before I let out a large yawn.

"Get some sleep, love. Goodnight," he whispered. I tucked into a chest a little more and closed my eyes, letting myself drift off to sleep.

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