The next morning Jolena wakes up in a strange bed. The bed is excessively big and amazingly comfortable, the linens smell fresh, the duvet is soft and feels luxurious, the room looks huge. It takes her a while before she realises where she is.
Then she remembers everything that happened last night. She sits up and rubs her face with her hand. Then she throws her legs out of the bed. She walks over to the window and she pushes the curtains to the side. When she looks at the view she is impressed, she can oversee everything in the front of the packhouse. She sees all the pack members doing their duties. She sees Chris talking to someone with a serious face and she sees Danny, Nick and Leo standing beside him. They look like they feel good around each other, they seem to feel so comfortable in each other’s company. They look like one big family.
A sting of jealousy hits her. A family is something she doesn’t have anymore. From the age of sixteen, she’s been on her own, the only family she had was herself. When she sees these men together, she realises how much she missed having a family, how she missed being able to trust someone fully.
She turns back around and freshens herself up a little. She quickly puts on some clothes and walks out the door. Once downstairs she walks out the front door and she looks for Chris and the guys. They’re still in the same place where she saw them a moment ago. Danny is the first to notice her and walks around everyone to give her a hug. “Jolena,” he smiles widely, “it’s good to see you!”
“Hey Danny, it’s good to see you too.” Jolena smiles and she hugs him back. Chris’ growl doesn’t go unnoticed and her smile widens a little. When Danny lets her go, she turns and looks at Chris. She points her finger at him; “you have to do something about that, you know. You can’t growl every time I hug someone.” They all laugh.
“Jolena, he is an Alpha, he is more stubborn than a mule, there’s no point in saying something about it, he won’t change.” Nick laughs and they all laugh with him.
“Who says I won’t change. Maybe I never changed because there wasn’t a reason important enough. I think this girl,” he looks at Jolena with loving eyes and wraps an arm around her waist, “is important enough to change for.”
Jolena looks down and shyly pulls away from Chris. Everyone around them has seen it. They see how she pulls away, how she doesn’t feel comfortable around Chris.
Danny makes eye contact with Chris; he has a worried look on his face. “Jolena, would you like me to show you where Ava is staying?” He tries to take the attention away from the awkward feeling between Chris and her.
Jolena’s eyes light up, “oh, yes please.” She smiles a little, still a bit uncomfortable.
“Alpha, I hope you don’t mind me taking your girlfriend to my girlfriend.” Danny looks at Chris with a frown between his eyes. You never know how Chris will respond.
“No, it’s fine, as long as you keep her safe.” You can see that Chris has mixed feelings about this.
“You know I will always keep her safe.” Danny turns around and walks in the direction of Ava’s cabin. “See you later, guys.” Jolena follows him and starts walking beside him.
“So, how are you holding up?” He asks her when they’re out of hearing range.
“I don’t know,” she looks at her feet. “it’s all a bit much I guess.”
“Tell me.” Danny looks at her, “it’ll help. Maybe I can help you with the things you may not understand.”
“Hm,” Jolena thinks and she decides just to let it all out. “I just don’t know what to feel. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. I’ve been attacked by a man I trusted, or at least I did in the beginning. And now Chris just told me he is my mate. And I know he feels a lot for me already. He shows it every time I look at him. I know every girl dreams of a man looking at her like that, that she’s the only thing in his world. But how will I know if I will ever feel the same? He does deserve someone who loves him just as much as he loves her. How is he so sure that I’m the one for him? I- I just don’t know.” She pulls up her shoulders for a moment.
“It’s the same for me and Ava,” Danny stops walking and turns to her. “We’re still in the process of getting to know each other. But every time we are together, there is chemistry, there is a connection. Something we just can’t deny. And that is what Ava trusts, she trusts the feeling deep inside her that tells her that what we have is right. I guess you have to look deep in yourself and see if you have that feeling too. And when you do, trust it, grab it, you won’t regret it. Maybe the pace Chris is going is a little too fast to your liking, but you can talk to him about it. He’ll do everything for you, Jolena. Tell him to jump off a bridge, he’ll do it. Tell him to climb the highest mountain, he’ll do it. He’ll do it, because it’s for you. He’ll even slow down, for you.”
Jolena frowns, “but how do you know that she’s the one for you? How can you tell?”
“I just do,” Danny shrugs. “When I see her, the sun seems to shine a bit brighter. When I see her, anything else just disappears, it’s just me and her. When I touch her, everything starts to tingle, and I get a warm feeling within me. And when I smell her, hmm, oh boy,” he smiles when he thinks about it. “I just want to put my nose in her hair, and I want to wrap myself in her scent. When I smell her, I want to have her, own her, possess her, and make love to her. I want to pleasure her.”
“Wow,” she’s amazed by Danny’s confession.
“Yeah,” Danny laughs, “sorry if I make you feel uncomfortable.” He is quiet for a minute. “But I think Chris feels almost the same about you.”
“Do you think I will be able to love him back just as much as he loves me?”
“I am sure you can. Give yourself a little time and give him a chance. He is a good guy, hot headed, stubborn at times, but he will never, ever hurt you. He can’t.”
Jolena looks at him with big eyes. “He can’t?”
“No, not on purpose anyway.”
“When he hurts you, he’ll hurt himself. Now that he has made a connection with you, he’ll feel everything you feel. When you’re hurt, he’ll feel your hurt.”
“Yeah, sometimes it’s very inconvenient.” Danny laughs awkwardly and scratches his neck. “Like when it’s the time of the month.”
Jolena laughs as well. “That will be a fun thing to find out.”