He made her mac and cheese with garlic bread. His wolf was anxious to see if the meal was good enough for her, for his mate.
“Sorry it’s not fancy, but I can make a good mac and cheese” if he weren’t so tan she would’ve thought he was blushing.
“I like mac and cheese” she smiled towards him, and dug into her plate.
As the night went on the tension relaxed, she will drop the issue for a later date. She was here to get information from him.
“Ryder?” she looked up, “can I ask you a question about being mates?” When she looked at him like that he could see the child in her eyes, this was all new for her, this wasn’t Alpha Senna talking, this was baby Senna in a new situation.
“Of course baby.” he reached for her hand. The pet name baby still gave her the creeps, but she pushed passed it.
“First why do I get this tingling, warming sensation when you touch me? Why do you smell so good? What is the mating process? What is a mark?” she rattled off the questions. Making him chuckle he squeezed her hand lovingly, just looking at her.
“Well, first the touching sensation is one sign we are mates, its supposed to make us want to be together. It’s euphoric. Same with the scent, scent attracts you to each other, you smell amazing to your mate. A mark is a part of the mating process.”
“But you didn’t answer what it is. Are there steps?” she looked at him inquisitively.
“You really don’t know huh?” he smiled.
“No” she grumbled, ” I really don’t know, I was too busy being alpha to worry about other people hooking up with each other.” she crossed her arms in frustration.
“I’ll explain in steps then” he chuckled.
“First, you have to meet, and you accept each other as mates, which we technically skipped. Next I guess is marking, I, the male wolf bites your neck to mark you as mine, so that other wolves don’t try to steal you from me, it also heightens our attraction for each other, at that point you and I can mind link even though we are from different packs. Last step is what they call mating, you know,” he laughed awkwardly “having sex, but this time you bite me sealing our bond.”
She sat there thinking. “Well, it seems simple enough, but I don’t understand what the big deal is.” she shrugged her shoulders. Arman just wanted her to have sex with him once and bite him? Really? Did she really need to suffer through that party to get the task done? Couldn't they get the ball rolling so she could do the deed already? She just wanted to get back to her pack, where she was safe and secure.
“Have you ever dated anyone Senna?” He hoped her answer was hell no, but he knew he didn’t wait either.
“If I never went to a party, and never had alcohol, why do you think I’ve dated?” She sighed rolling her eyes.
“True, I just was thinking if you kissed someone before, you would know the difference between a kiss from your mate and someone who isn’t.”
She shrugged again “My wolf likes kissing you, I think that’s all we need to worry about”. He smiled, got up from the table, pulled her along with him to his living room. He turned on some music and began to dance with her. She stood there for a moment, not realizing what she should do, but she copied him swaying side to side. His hands were low on her hips, he pulled her flush against his body, she could feel the heat radiating off him.They danced for a little while, Ryder’s hands grazing up and down her back. He kisses her softly on the lips, enjoying the small gasp she takes as if it surprised her.
“I want to try something,” he attempted at spinning her out and bringing her back to him but she ended up crashing into him. He chuckled as he straightened themselves out.
“I really love that dress Senna, it is so gorgeous on you.” she smiled softly, doing a slow spin for him, when he stopped her, having her back towards him. He traces one finger across her back.
“You have a tattoo?” the way his touch was so soft it sent shivers down her whole body.
“Yeah, in commemoration to my old pack, each petal and leaf is a life we lost.” he pulled her close to him, wrapping his arms around her waist. She didn’t tell him that Hendrix was the one who drew it for her, or was the one who tattooed her back. She didn’t need a repeat of jealous Alpha again.
“I think it’s a sexy tattoo, even with its deep meaning.” he said huskily in her ear. She allowed herself to melt into him, allowing her body to fully press into him. She could smell his arousal; it was coming off in waves from him.
“I wish we didn’t have a war to prepare for so I could be with you, I wish I wasn’t at war with myself” she whispered, pain in her eyes. It broke his heart seeing her face fall. Her wolf was speaking, she was too nervous to be in the situation. She allowed her wolf to take over, even if her eyes didn’t change to their brilliant purple.
“It’s ok baby, I can wait for you. Focus on making our packs strong so we can be strong together.” She mind linked to her brothers that she decided to stay the night with Ryder, which only got her warning growls.
“Is it weird for me to stay here?” she was in his room, fiddling with her hands, she wasn’t used to being out of her element, still in her dress she wondered if this ensemble was appropriate sleep wear.
“You’re my mate, everything I have is yours baby. Come here you can wear one of my tee shirts and boxers to bed” he handed her a large tee-shirt and boxer shorts. Going into the bathroom her nerves hit her. Her palms started sweating as she folded up her dress, his shirt was baggy on her, giving her much needed sense of modesty with no bra on. She knew people had sex, but she was always too busy worrying about pack safety she never wondered about herself doing the act.
She remembered when she was younger she dreamed of Hendrix being that one, but now those feelings are all muted from the spell. Better that way. She swallowed, taking in a deep breath, trying to tell herself it was no big deal. Just a transaction, something that was needed and necessary. She was a strong alpha she told herself, she would do everything to keep her pack safe, to keep them strong, even if she had to fight against herself.
He could hear her hammering heart through the bathroom door, she was scared out of her mind, he thought. He sat on the edge of his bed waiting for her to reemerge from his bathroom. He looked up as he heard the lock click from his bathroom; his heart melted seeing her in his clothes. He never understood why it was such a sexy thing, but now he understood. She was twisting the hem of his shirt standing in the door way looking at the floor.
“Sorry, I’m usually not like this, I just—I’ve never been—, ” she let out a frustrated breath, “I’ve never been alone...with a guy...like this”. Her voice got quieter as she spoke. He went towards her, lifting her chin with a finger so her eyes would meet his.
“There’s no pressure here Senna.” He whispered and kissed her forehead. Before leaving light kisses down her cheeks. He led her back to his bed, hoping that once she realized his intentions that her nerves would settle. They lay next to each other; she was trying to be as close to him without actually touching his body. His wolf groaned.
“Would it be ok if I held you?” he questioned softly, looking at her, he watched as her eyes widened in the dark, before hesitantly nodding her head. He closed the distance between them and brought her against his chest. She was laying on her back and straight as a board, so only her shoulder and hip was touching him.
“Why did you make that wish?” He spoke softly, one of his hands rubbing the length of her arm. She stayed silent, shrugging.
“I remember making the wish, but I don’t have memories of that night, or why. But I was struggling for a long time finding my place as Alpha, as a caretaker for my brothers, as a friend in the pack. Maybe I felt like if I couldn’t fall in love, or wasn’t worried about a mate I would be a better Alpha. Better for my pack.” Her voice soft and melodic flowed over him, he could listen to her for eternity just to get lost in her sweet voice.
“My wolf craves you, but my human side has a hard time with romantic feelings. I’m sorry if it’s confusing for you.” She continued, not making eye contact with him just staring blankly at his ceiling.
“Ever thought of reversing it?”
“Arman and Hendrix got rid of the candle and paper.” The name Hendrix made his wolf growl, but he pushed him back trying to not ruin the moment.
“Well maybe the mate bond will warm your heart a bit.” He sighed, bringing one of her hands to his lips. He could feel the goose bumps on her skin, she was practically shaking from nerves.
He watched her, he could see the wheels turning behind her eyes, she was about to speak but nothing came out. Senna was trying to force the words out of her mouth, but her voice wouldn’t work. Her wolf was begging her to let him mark her, let him claim her so that we would fully be his. She worried once she had the mark she would be too far-gone in lust that she would lose focus of her pack. Arman’s words echoed in her mind, the mate bond would make her pack stronger. They needed to be strong. She couldn’t lose that many lives again.
She looked at Ryder for a moment, and decided it was too much pressure to speak while looking at him. Turning her face back towards the ceiling she squeezed her eyes tight before letting out the softest whisper.
“Say that one more time baby?” Ryder inched closer to her, smiling down at her scrunched up face.
“Will..” she cleared her throat, ” you make the mark on me?” her innocence made his heart melt, he nuzzled into the side of her neck before answering against her skin.
“Are you sure? It hurts at first.” He stroked back her hair, turning her face towards him, her eyes still squeezed shut.
“It would make my wolf happy.” she spoke softly, opening her eyes and meeting his warm gaze. His smiled widened; he could have lightened up the dark room with that smile.
“I’ll go slowly, talk you through it” he kissed her lips ever so lightly, before trailing light delicate kisses down her jaw, sucking her ear lobe and making a blazing trail down her neck. He inhaled her scent for a moment, loving being so close to his mate. He tried not to push his lower half too close to her, he didn’t need to scare her off when she was finally getting comfortable with him. He kissed the junction in her neck where it turned into her shoulder, licking the spot where he would sink his teeth. She let out the softest moan, making his wolf purr.
“I’m going to bite right here,” he spoke into her neck, reaching one arm over her so she couldn’t move too much. She nodded her head taking a deep breath.
“It’ll feel good after the initial pinch.” He whispered in her ear, kissing her neck again, sucking lightly at the spot where he wanted to mark her. He grazed her skin with his teeth, he could feel her hammering heart, his hand rubbed her arm, brushing back her hair on her other side.
“calm baby,” he kissed her neck “ready?” he questioned huskily, trying to keep his wolf at bay. Only the mark tonight nothing more. She nodded her head once more, and he let out a growl before sinking his teeth into her soft sweet neck. She gasped at the pain, the burning, flinching but his arm held her close so she wouldn’t hurt herself more. The whimper turning into moans before she pulling away, now she was grabbing his arm, pulling him closer, grinding her hips into him. whoa nelly, she is gonna kill me he thought. He released her neck, licking off the blood, kissing his mark. She moaned again when his lips touched her sensitive fresh mark.
“I should stop before we go too much further” he kissed her lips lightly letting go of his grip on her, she turned to look at him, running her hand through his groomed beard, and smiled. That smile is going to make my heart stop he groaned.
She kept staring at him, like she was seeing him for the first time, her eyes roaming his face, his lips, and his bare chest. The blush that rose to her cheeks made him smile.
“Is this what mates feels like?” she whispered, her fingers still lightly playing with his beard. Her wolf was close to the surface, she allowed her to enjoy this moment, knowing that her human intentions weren’t pure. She did this for her pack.
“mm..” he closed his eyes, “the warmth? The happiness? Peace? Yeah baby, a mate is forever bound to you and your wolf’s soul, to love and protect until we are old and grey.” he kissed the tip of her nose.
“I’m sorry I was so cold to you.” he could see her eyes welling up in tears, he kissed each eyelid softly. “But now it’s like I can’t fight it my wolf anymore. It’s overwhelming how much my body craves you, how much my heart is telling me to love you. How can I stay away?” he could see the turmoil in her eyes. When his teeth sunk into her neck it was like a chain snapped around her heart, her body filled with an overwhelming warmth.
When she looked at him she felt so many emotions she felt like her heart would jump out of her chest. Is this what the spell kept from her? Is that what she was missing for all theses years? What broke her heart more was the bond was pulling her to Ryder, but her mind instantly remembered Hendrix, the mate bond burned away the haze of her birthday night, the love she felt for Hendrix, their kiss, how much it hurt when they had to stay apart. The real reason she cast that spell. Shaking her head she turned her attention back to Ryder, her mate, she needed to remember that. He was her mate, not Hendrix.