Chapter 29: Talk
"Aurora!" Everett calls out as I reach Freya and Skye outside of school. I look back at him curiously. "Lucius is picking you up today. Ace is going out today so..." I hurry back over to him, tumbling into his arms at the end and pouting at him.
"Lucius doesn't like me. He picked me up on Wednesday and it was deadly silence."
"He doesn't not like you, little one. You'll be fine."
"Can't Ophelia pick me up? Or I can learn how to drive." He laughs wildly at my suggestion, his deep chuckles incredibly attractive.
"I know you're seventeen but there is no way I'm letting you, ever, drive a car, ever. Ever," he reiterates firmly like I didn't hear it the first time. I lower my eyes and then my head, but he proceeds to lift my chin and pecks my lips. "I'm sorry, little mate. It's just... Do you think that's a good idea?"
"I guess not," I say shamefully. "But I can't cook anything, or work any machinery or do anything. I'm useless." When he actually grips my chin, my eyes snap back to his and he looks furious.
"You're not useless, Aurora. Don't ever say that. I like cooking or getting takeout. You eat cereal so I don't have to make you breakfast. And you eat sandwiches for lunch. You don't ask me for anything, and I want to do the things I do for you. Fuck, I want to do more. Go to school, and Lucius will pick you up, okay? I don't want to make you late." He strokes my cheek and kisses my lips, telling me what I need to know.
I stroll back over to Freya and Skye as Everett pulls out of the parking lot, giving one final look.
"What was that all about?" Skye asks, peering off in the direction of Everett's car. "Why was he being all serious and grabbing your jaw?" She's only seen him for a few minutes every day this week, but she's warned me about him multiple times. She thinks he's using me, trying to get into my pants. But she doesn't know what I know. And if I tell her I think we're soulmates, she'll lecture me even more. She's usually bubbly and sweet but can be very protective when she thinks I could be in trouble.
"He's just being... He's sending one of his friends to pick me up and he doesn't like me very much," I tell her, walking inside so that we could change the subject.
"He calls you Aurora," Freya comments.
"That's my name," I reply in confusion.
"I know. It's just, I've never heard anyone use it. Everyone calls you Rory. You introduce yourself as Rory."
"Yeah, well, I did to Everett. But he likes calling me Aurora. And I like it when he calls me it."
"Hey, Rory," someone calls out as we stand by our lockers, taking our textbooks out. I peer back over my shoulder to see Oliver and his jock friends standing there, staring at me. Skye and Freya get called away by a teacher, leaving me standing alone against the jock squad.
"Hey, Oliver. You okay?" I ask.
"Absolutely. But you see, Jax, over there," he begins, casually glancing over his shoulder to a guy with girls hanging off him that I've never seen before. He wears a leather jacket, your stereotypical bad boy. His eyes suddenly meet mine and a smirk grows on his lips. "You haven't met him. He joined a couple of weeks after you left. He's throwing a party tomorrow and he doesn't really know you so he asked me to invite you."
"Because he likes you." I glance over his shoulder again and he's now fully checking me out, his eyes roaming my body like it's his to stare at. Did no one tell him I have a 'boyfriend'?
"Well, like every other party, I can't go," I reply sassily, brushing past all of them. But Oliver catches up to me and walks along side me.
"He's my mate and he likes you. I thought you like attention now with the cycle of guys that show up to take you home," he snarks and I stop in my tracks, very offended, and ready to stand my ground. I've been standing up against Orion's bullies but I need to stand up against my own.
"I'm dating Everett, the guy who takes me to school every morning. Those other guys are his friends. You can tell your 'mate' that I'm taken," I tell him before swanning off, leaving him stunned into silence.
Settling at my lunch table with Skye and Freya, listening to them complain about Mr Sykes' Math homework, I spot Eddie, watching me again. And this time, I build up the courage to go talk to him, to clear the air.
I pull him aside, bearing in mind everything Everett has said to me. I guess a text was better than nothing, especially since I met Everett, there would never be a chance with anyone else for me. Even if he did reject me, which he's told me he wouldn't now, I wouldn't get over it, and wouldn't find anyone else that I would have the same connection with. He's my soulmate after all.
"Rory, hey, I..." he starts but soon trails off, scratching the back of his head awkwardly.
"Eddie, I'm sorry. I don't really know what else to say but I think we just need to clear the air. I know you deserved more than a text, and I'm so sorry for that. Really sorry. And... I know I was just gone. We moved. There were some bullies in my neighborhood. And I thought I was never coming back to school here. Not that it was okay to dump you like that."
"'We're over. Sorry.' That's what it said. It didn't even sound like you," he complains, taking out his phone and showing me it. So Everett really did dump my boyfriend in three words. Not that I expected him to be sensitive. He's my mate and he's an Alpha. He must have despised the idea I had a boyfriend and wanted to make sure there was no one out there thinking I was still their girl. "This wasn't you. I know that."
"How would you know that?"
"Because I know you, Rory," he states. No, he really doesn't. No one does and I can't tell anyone. I wish I could though. Talk it out. But I'm not sure where that would get me. Still needing answers. The only way to get answers is to die and put myself in danger. Who knows, maybe this 'she' can actually kill me. And then, in the process of getting answer, I die for real. "Who wrote it?" I'll have to tell him a version of the truth.
"Everett, my boyfriend, wrote it."
"Are you fucking serious? Your boyfriend broke up with me for you."
"I don't own a phone. I don't even know your number. I told him about you and we started dating and he tracked you down, found your number. I didn't even know he texted you until well after he did it. I'm sorry. I thought it would be better for you to know we're over than to say nothing. I still don't own a phone or know your number. I'm-"
"Sorry, yeah I know," he finishes, disappointed at my words. Did he think this would go differently? "I care about you, Rory. We were friends before we were dating so I do know you, and I care. That guy who drops you at school everyday, he doesn't."
"You don't know him."
"He broke us up. He sent me a breakup test pretending to be you. If that's not messed up as shit, I don't know what is."
"It's more that he's the jealous type. And very protective," I tell him.
"Guys like that are dangerous and controlling. Rory, you shouldn't be with him."
"You can't tell me what to do, Eddie. I just... I wanted to clear the air."
"No, you were going to lie to me about the text, and who else knows what else you were lying about. I don't want to see you hurt," he says.
"He's not hurting me. He's nowhere close to that. If anything, he attempts to prevent me getting hurt at all, which is hard considering I'm very clumsy." I chuckle a little and move to leave, but his hand touches my arm, stopping me.
"Rory, you clearly like this guy better than me? What does he have that I don't? I mean, what didn't work between us?" he questions. "Please tell me honestly." He's right. Even though we were dating for a month, we knew each other as friends for a couple of years. I know him. And he... well, he doesn't really know me. Being a human living a wolf life and a bad liar, I just avoid the subject of my life, weaving my way around it. But, I couldn't tell him about my life. I couldn't tell anyone.
"I don't know what to tell you."
"The truth. Why are you with him and not me? We've been friends for years and I thought we had a connection."
"I... He understands me and he takes care of me. He can be a little over-protective, but he's very serious about responsibility and he protects anything he cares about."
"So do I."
"I'm sorry, Eddie." When the lunch bell rings, I thank the goddess. Saved by the bell.