Fit For Fire

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Chicks love taco's, right?

Zach

Her eyes sparkled with a pain that I had never wished to see. The hopelessness, an ember that burned too bright to hide behind the guise of her anger, called out to me, claiming my name as its cause. The answers her eyes demanded as her tears signaled a forced defeat, taunted me. Made me second guess all reasoning, all duty. Adeline’s face haunted me long after her appointment was over.

Returning to my office, I regretted not escorting her home the minute I sat down behind my desk. I had originally intended to spend the day with her, but like a coward I fled, fearing her anger and rejection. I knew this wouldn’t go over well, I knew that today wasn’t going to be easy, but it was my duty to register a rogue staying in my territory. Regardless of whether they were my mate or not. Even thinking that I had to question myself. Did I insist on registering her and enrolling her in the program because it was my duty or because I wanted to find a way to make her stay?

Leaning back in my chair I groaned. Closing my eyes my groan turned into a grimace. There it was again. Her face. All I could think about was the look on her face when she realized she might not leave here and the tears in her eyes as she almost begged me not to sedate her.

As bad as I believed today would be, I never believed it would be on-the-brink-of-sedation bad. Originally, sedation hadn’t been part of the plan. Although it is sometimes used on violent rogues, we usually didn’t have to use it. I wasn’t sure what Adeline would do, she had fought my men before, and the bond wasn’t enough to get her to trust me. I figured it would save her the shame and unpleasantness she associated with the registry, and keep her from hurting herself or doing something to change her status as a non-violent rogue. Now I saw it as a cowardly way to secure my mate, and assert my dominance.

I had no idea if she would forgive me for this. If she had grown up knowing our ways, then maybe she would have seen the registry as an eventuality, and the program as an opportunity. Although Adeline hadn’t grown up living a rogue’s life, she still reacted the way many do when faced with the rules of the pack. The only difference was that she was being introduced to this world for the first time, and to her, this meant she was losing everything. Her life as it was before, and her own perception of freedom.

Ashamed, and worried about Adeline, all of the work on my desk suddenly seemed insignificant. Maybe I should go to her and try to explain myself? That would be a good start, but what should I say? I began drumming my pen anxiously against my desk. As the drumming got louder, I remembered Adeline, sitting in the white plastic chair in the clinic doing the same thing absently with her pencil. Remembering how that ended I instantly dropped my pen.

Her eyes had looked so sad. She looked so lost and conflicted. It hurt to see someone so strong look so vulnerable. After she had gone into the examination room, I went back to speak with Joanne about her. We hadn’t made it a minute into our conversation when Grace, the haughty nurse who always undressed me with her eyes, burst into Joanne’s office to declare a ‘non-cooperative rouge’. I had stood up, instantly ready to get into the room and try to handle the situation when I felt Joanne’s small hand on my forearm.

After asking Grace what the problem was, and hearing her reply that Ade wouldn’t divulge necessary information, she calmly demanded to see her file. Joanne had grimaced after quickly looking the page over. Then looking up to me she said something that made me believe I was doing the right thing. Looking me in the eye she said “She isn’t resisting. She’s just alone.”

That moment cleared away all doubts I had and gave me the conviction I needed to push forward. I was giving her a home, a family, something she deeply deserved. I allowed Joanne her time, but when Grace returned, I knew I had to make her understand. The bond would reach her. Then it didn’t. My thoughts came to a screeching halt. The bond wasn’t the only thing that didn’t reach her. My alpha command had no effect on her. She didn’t even wince. Usually my alpha command was enough to have a rogue in a quick state of submission, but when I tried it on Adeline, she had merely blinked at me. Our bond had much more pull then my command did. Was this because she grew up without the fear of, or the knowledge of an alpha? Or was it something bigger?

Shaking my head and tugging at my hair, I groaned. I could go over how horribly this went all day or I could try to make it right. Walking home, I decided to make a big dinner. Adeline would be hungry and what better way to explain myself than over a meal. Bursting into my kitchen I instantly started making tacos. I was halfway through when Jeremy came in from the living room. Looking over everything he asked “Making tacos?”

Stopping, I gave him a quick once over. He had this mischievous look on his face that I swore he was born with. “Yes.” I said proudly as I continued grating cheese. “Because chicks love tacos, right?” Jeremy asked with a small laugh. My eyebrows crinkled. Of course they did. If they didn’t then why would so many of them wear those shirts that told you to feed them tacos and call them pretty? Looking up at Jeremy I noticed he was still examining me with a sarcastic smile and a cocked eyebrow. We stared each other down until my confidence was shaken. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out “Do you think she’d prefer Italian? I have noodles.” Bursting into a deep belly laugh Jeremy left the kitchen, leaving me wondering if I really should break out the penne.

A half hour later the table was set. Jeremy had volunteered to get Adeline, but I told him I would get her myself. “I’m not sure if that is the best idea. She may not want to see you right now. Besides she wouldn’t come down for lunch, so I doubt she will for dinner. The girl is stubborn. She may need a day.” She hadn’t eaten lunch? Was she even in her room still?

I made for the stairs, worried she had run off. Before I made it to the first step, a hand landed on my shoulder. I turned to find Jeremy looking me over. “She’s there. Please let me try.” Looking him in the eyes, I realized he really was trying to help. Understanding that she may not want to speak to me I took a step back and nodded letting Jeremy run up the stairs to comfort my mate.

My mate. Something I should be doing. My wolf growled at the thought of another man being able to console and woo my mate. I was instantly mad at myself and jealous of Jeremy. Feeling my wolf start to take over I felt myself move forward and start trudging up the stairs. By the time I reached the top of the stairs I could hear Jeremy knocking on her door. ” Ade, dinner is ready.” He paused for a minute waiting for a response. With ears trained on the door I could hear Adeline’s heartbeat and the slight rustle of covers as she moved in bed.

Sighing Jeremy knocked again. “I know you’re upset but you really need to eat. Please come down.” His words were followed by silence as Ade refused to answer. He tried a few more times until he gave up. Turning, he saw me and shrugged his shoulders. He went back downstairs, leaving me staring at her door.

My wolf was ecstatic that she hadn’t answered to him. That he seemed to have no effect on her. He was also worried that Ade hadn’t eaten. If he was in control, I would be kicking down the door, and kissing my mate into submission, and then carrying her down the stairs to her tacos. But he wasn’t in control. I was, I reminded myself as I breathed in a deep, calming breath. I was going to give her what I knew she needed most right now. Space.

Turning, I had only gone a couple of steps down before I felt it. An unfamiliar sensation in the back of my skull. It was a dull ache that pulsed with loneliness and betrayal. My wolf whined, and that’s when I knew. It was Adeline’s wolf. She was connecting with my own. She recognized me for what I was, but for some reason she must be having a hard time relaying this information to Adeline. In fact, she must have a hard time communicating at all as this was the first time I had felt her. Her pain was both hurtful and exciting. On one hand, I wanted to make it stop, I wanted to make her feel wanted and safe. On the other hand, I was so happy to finally be feeling her that I wanted to draw her inside me, and feel all that she had to give. Even if it hurt. Even if she hated me for it later. I just needed to feel her. To know she was there with me and that she knew.

My wolf whined again at her pain. At the thought that this pain may cause her to reject me. I could feel myself internally begging her to forgive me, to understand. As soon as the feeling came though, it left. Retreating slowly, agonizingly evaporating while I mentally chased it. Feeling it slip away was like watching water drain through a sieve while trapped in the desert. I needed to keep her with me desperately, but she slipped away all the same, leaving me thirsty and desperate.

Turning around I marched back up the stairs with new resolve. I needed to see her. To make her understand now. I raised my fist to pound on the door when Patrick showed up next to me. “She’s been in there all day and she hasn’t eaten? Why wasn’t I told about this. I need to talk to her; she needs to understand.” The words rushed out of me quickly. Patrick nodded. Understanding the mood I was in. Knowing how close my wolf was to taking over, he tapped me on the shoulder gently. If Patrick and I hadn’t grown up together, this would have set my wolf into a rage.

‘She knows nothing about our world, and barely anything about our kind. If you let your wolf loose to just barge in on her you will only scare her and push her away.’ Patrick linked me calmly. My wolf growled back in reply, mostly frustrated with the fact that he was right. Backing my wolf off I reminded him that I had to court Ade like I would a human, as that was the world she knew and grew up in. Pulling my hands through my hair, I tried to calm myself. My body was hot and shook with the exertion it took to hold myself back.

“I know you want to see her, but you have to remember how hard this is for her. She needs her own space right now.” Patrick said both in my head and aloud for emphasis. The effect helped calm me further. My father trained me so that logic would reach me when my own self-restraint started to fail. It took almost everything in me to turn around and walk down the stairs without her. I promised myself that soon, I would never have to be without her again.

***

Dear readers,

I know it's been a minute, but moving sucks, and I had no internet. Also, I'm not sure if you've noticed buuuutttttttt the sky is falling.

I hope you all are well, and I hope this story helps keep you all from going crazy if you are currently stuck at home. While I'm home, I plan to do a LOT of writing. With that being said, likes, follows, and comments are deeply appreciated. It lets me know I'm not sending hours of work off into some lifeless corner of the inter-webs.

Also, I would like to thank the readers, like @Jerminajames who have continued reading, and have stayed with me through my story revisions and absences. Your support really does mean so much to me.

So, having bored you to death, grab a roll of TP snuggle up, and enjoy!

-Sheisthestorm

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