The next morning, I stood in the doorway of the dining room anxiously waiting for Everett to make his appearance. I had skipped out on breakfast because with my stomach in knots like this I knew it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to vomit on the floor in front of everyone as soon as he walked down the hallway.
I met all of the other Carmichael mates and they were all so welcoming of Charlie and I. I’m pretty sure he stole quite a few hearts as he enjoyed breakfast with them. He blushed, talked, smiled, and laughed more than I could have ever imagined. My blood ran warmer just at the sight. With Charlie coming out of his shell and becoming his true-self, I have hope for our future. For our life together. Spending one day with the pup has made me realize that I don’t think I could spend another day without his laughter floating into my ears.
My strength and senses were finally returning to normal, just this morning I was able to fully shift both hands into paws without having to concentrate as hard. I just cleared my mind and let it happen. The wolfsbane is almost nonexistent in my system and it’s making me feel alive. More alive than I have ever felt in my entire life. Sure, it’s just the wolfsbane making you feel that and not a special someone with emerald green eyes. I thought to myself.
While impatiently tapping my foot, I strained my ears to listen for the tale-tell sign of the bunker hatch being pried open. I tried pacing, I tried sitting, I tried talking to everyone, but nothing was helping my nervousness of seeing my mate again. Everyone stared at me in disbelief and Maggie tried to calm me down, but she gave up after she realized her efforts were going in one ear and out the other.
As soon as I heard it, I bolted from the dining room. I ran through the halls as fast as my legs would take me. I smelled his scent before I saw him. Lavender and fresh water. I breathed it in deep, which only motivated me push myself faster. I only slowed when I saw him climbing down the last few steps of the ladder.
His muscles flexed in his black T-shirt with each step he made. When he finally made it down completely, he ran a hand through his perfectly styled, dark brown locks, causing a few strands to fall on his forehead. He sucked in a a quick breath and lifted his eyes to mine. I stopped moving immediately and we just stood staring at each other. The world ceased to exist, nothing but my loud, thumping heart beat, and him.
I only broke eye contact when I blushed and looked down due to the amount of intimacy I felt in his gaze. When I finally allowed myself to look up he was right in front of me and it made my breath catch in my throat. He reached up and slowly caressed my cheek with his thumb. I looked up into his eyes and saw nothing but adoration and relief. I could stare into his eyes for the rest of my life.
“Breathe.” He said and broke the spell I was under.
As I finally began to breathe again, I grabbed his face in my hands to ground me to reality and said, “Everett, I can’t believe you’re really here.” I began inspecting the rest of his face and noticed the purple bags underneath his eyes, it looked as though he hasn’t slept in days. There were creases in his forehead I didn’t notice before, like his eyebrows were constantly furrowed.
He just stared at me, not saying a word. We stood there for a few more minutes, or hours for all I knew, when I heard Charlie’s small foot steps running up from behind me. I turned around just in time to have him crash into me with one of the most loving, yet crushing, hugs I’ve ever gotten. I let out a small laugh while his arms were locked around my waist.
While ruffling his hair, I looked down at him and said, “Hey, Charlie. Do you want to meet Alpha Everett?”
He nodded his head vigorously, which made me laugh even more. He pulled his arms away from me, and I slowly turned around to face Everett once again. His eyebrows were furrowed, concern filling his eyes as he stared down at Charlie. “I’ll tell you later.” I whispered lowly and his expression softened as he nodded his understanding.
“Okay, Charlie. This is Alpha Everett. Alpha Everett, this is Charlie.” I made the introduction casually.
Charlie shyly raises his head up to look Everett in the eyes and put his hand out to shake. “Nice to meet you, Alpha.”
Everett laughed and grabbed Charlie’s hand and shook it firmly and released it. “Nice to meet you too, Charlie. You can just call me Everett. That’s a mighty strong handshake you have there, maybe even stronger than mine.” He winked playfully at him.
Charlie’s eyes widened in disbelief and a huge smile spread on his face. The happiness that shined in his eyes and radiated off his body sent my heart into overdrive. I looked back at Everett and gave him a genuine smile, then my attention turned back to Charlie. “Charlie, why don’t you go and see if Maggie will play with you? I need to speak to Everett for a few minutes. Okay?”
He nodded and ran back down the hall in the direction he came. I brought my eyes back to Everett’s and he had a compassionate twinkle in his eye. Strange thing coming from a fierce Alpha such as him.
“I was so worried about you, Amelia.” He stated as I waved it off for the time being.
“Come eat breakfast, I’m sure you’re starving. We can talk at the table.” I said grabbing his hand and leading him to the dining room.
Once we arrived, I noticed that all of the other ladies had left to go about their days. I grabbed a plate and started piling it high with left over food. I heard Everett chuckle and turned to him, “What’s funny?”
“It’s funny that you think I’m going to eat all of that. You’re helping.” He smirked and gave me a sly wink.
I felt my cheeks turn red, and looked down at all of the breakfast foods I had put on the plate, an attempt to hide my face.
“Hey, don’t do that. Look at me.” He said in a serious tone.
I looked up to meet his eyes, gave him a small smile, and walked over to the table. I sat the plate in front of him and intended to pull out the chair next to him for me to sit at. Before I could, he grabbed my waist with both hands and plopped me down on his lap. I tried to squirm out of his grasp and sit in my own chair, but he wasn’t having it.
He brought his lips to my ear and whispered, “I would suggest you stop doing that, unless you would like me to take you right here on top of this table.” The heat of his breath fanning over the shell of my ear.
I gasped and turned to look into his eyes, where there was no trace of dishonesty. “You wouldn’t.” I stated, narrowing my eyes playfully.
“Don’t test me, Amelia.” He said, just as he let out a low, animalistic growl that made me shiver.
That’s all it took for my body to react to him. A warmth ran through my lower belly, it spread all the way down to my core, making it clench. My breathing became heavy and my heart was pounding in my chest as I continued to look into his eyes. Every so often, his eyes would flicker down to my lips. The lust that shown in his eyes each time, made me bite the inside of my lip. If I had to guess, my panties were ruined and he didn’t even touch me yet.
Chris was never like this. When I met him, it felt like a simple crush. I was attracted to him, yes, but THIS, this with Everett, cannot even compare to whatever Chris made me feel... Actually no, I didn’t feel anything with Chris, not really. This is feeling, with Everett, this is living.
He suddenly closed his eyes, took a deep breath in and opened his eyes back up before he said, “You smell so sweet, but there will be time for dessert later.” He gave me a cool smirk and grabbed the fork that sat near the plate, keeping his other hand resting on my knee. I tried to not look too disappointed as I cleared my throat and looked down at the food in front of us.
He cut off a piece of a pancake from the plate and held it up to my lips for me to take a bite. I hesitantly opened up and he slipped the thick, fluffy cake in my mouth. I let out a small moan of contentment as I quickly chewed and swallowed. He continued to feed the entire pancake that way, which didn’t take long considering I didn’t eat earlier and I was starving.
He let out a small laugh at the speed I consumed the sweet, syrupy goodness, “Hungry, are you?” I just nodded my head and looked down at my hands gathered in my lap, my dark hair curtained my face, hiding my blushing, red cheeks.
Everett moved the wall of hair that separated us and tucked it behind my ear. “You are so beautiful when you blush, stop hiding it from me.” He said as he brushed his thumb on my cheek and his other hand rubbed comforting circles on my knee. Thank Goddess, Katerina let me borrow some clothes. If he was touching me like that while I was still in that dress, I might let him take me in the table.
I leaned my head into his touch and looked at his face. Bringing my hands up to his face, I leaned in slowly, keeping my eyes on my destination. As soon as I was close enough I fluttered my eyes closed and brushed my lips over his.
Before we could commit to the kiss, someone cleared their throat near the entrance of the dining room. As I scrambled to stand up quickly, I nearly tripped over the other chair that was sitting next to Everett’s. Luckily, I was able to recover before falling on my face, but that didn’t stop Everett from laughing at my distress. I glared at him the best I could before his laughter became infectious.
The throat cleared again, demanding attention, and I whipped my head around to see Katerina standing a few feet away. She was sporting her permanent scowl on her face and looked at both of us in disgust. As usual.
“Hey, Kat. How are-” Everett began to ask to try and diffuse some of the tension in the air, but was interrupted by Katerina.
“Good, good.” She said with a wave of her hand. “Have you two talked about what you are going to do yet? Amelia is welcome to stay here, Charlie as well. We just need to know so we can prepare rooms.”
“We haven’t talked yet-” I started but was cut off by Katerina’s snarky reply, “Obviously.”
Everett grunted and walked up next to me. He placed a possessive arm around my waist and said, “I figured they could come to Shallow Lake. Seeing as she is my mate.” As he said the last sentence, he looked at me with love in his eyes. My heart rate, which had just come down, sped right back up again.
Katerina rolled her eyes at us and muttered an okay at us before exiting the room. I sat at the table once again and Everett sat down next to me, thankfully he didn’t pull me into his lap again.
“I think we should talk... about what happened.” I said in a solemn tone.
He grabbed both of my hands in his and started tracing patterns on them with his thumbs, to try and soothe me. He looked me in the eyes and gave me a nod for me to begin.
I told him the entire story, the same story I told Katerina and Maggie last night. From the Summit to now. He listened to my every word without interrupting. Throughout the story, I saw flashed of shock, pain, anger, and relief flood through his irises.
When I was done, we just sat in silence for a few minutes for the story to completely sink in. His face was composed, but you could feel the anger coming off of him in waves. Gently, as if to not hurt me, he reached up to move my shirt down a little bit so he could look at the mark that Chris had made.
The mark was quickly fading, but you could still see the faint outline of where the canines had sunken in to my flesh. Everett let out a predatory growl as he traced the mark with his index finger. After a few seconds, he looked into my eyes and had a remorseful look on his face.
“I am so sorry, Amelia.”
“Sorry for what?” I furrowed my brows in confusion. What did he have to be sorry about?
“For not going to the Summit like I was meant to, for not meeting you before him, and for not taking you away from there when I had the chance.”
I cupped his face with both hands and he slid his hand from my neck, down my arm and on top of my hand, holding it in place.
“Hey, stop that. You have nothing to apologize for, Everett. This is not your fault. That pack is to blame here, not you. They are sexist, abusive, and cruel and we should do something about it.”
“Way ahead of you.”
“What do you have planned?”
“We can discuss that when we get back to Shallow Lake. We need to leave here as soon as possible. We have a lot to do.”
I just nodded my head at him and stood from my chair. “Let me go grab Charlie, and say goodbye to everyone, then we can go.”
“Sounds good, I’ll join you.” He said with a smile as he stood from his chair. He clasped onto my hand as we made our way out of the dining room and towards the guest room where Charlie and I slept.
After saying our goodbyes to everyone and finding Charlie, we made our way towards the exit. Everett climbed the ladder first, next was Charlie and then I followed them both. We made it out of the bunker with no issues until I suddenly realized something.
“I’m not going to be able to shift.” I pouted, bottom lip jutted out and eyebrows furrowed. Oh, the epitome of sadness.
Everett let out a full-belly laugh at the look on my face. When Charlie saw it, he joined in on the laughter. I on the other hand didn’t see what was funny, and poured even more. After they both calmed down, Everett walked up to me and cupped my face. He used his thumbs to try to relax my furrowed brows.
“Well it’s a good thing I drove a car here and we only need to walk a half mile to the road to get to it.”
His words made my eyes light up and smile come to my face. “Good, cause I really didn’t want to make you carry me the whole way.” I teased, nudging him with my elbow.
He chucked at my response and grabbed hold of my hand.
“To Shallow Lake!” Charlie cheered and we took off through the forest in the direction of the car.