Seeking happiness

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XLVIII

To say he was confused was an understatement. He doesn’t know what to feel right now. Jolena had made him clear that she didn’t want to stay here, that she wanted to go home and be left in peace. But now, he doesn’t know if she’s still not staying, or that she changed her mind and wants to stay after all. Hell, does she herself know what she wants? Did she finally feel the mating bond getting stronger? So many questions, so little answers. He is confused.

Chris hisses, he tried to pull off his pants, but couldn’t do it without straining himself. The wound itself doesn’t hurt; it just hurts when he moves. He lies down, but can’t sleep, his mind keeps thinking about Jolena and what her gesture just a little before meant. A part of him got its hopes up and is now positive that she will stay. But there’s also another part that tells him to not be so happy just yet, because he may be disappointed in the end.

A while later he gets up from his bed. It’s in the afternoon, it’s too bright outside and he won’t be able to sleep anyway. That he hasn’t slept for a whole night, doesn’t matter. He walks downstairs and comes across Nick. “Hey Nick.”

“Hey Chris, how’s your shoulder?” Nick waits for him at the front door. When Chris joins him, they both walk outside.

“Oh, it’s fine. It’s healing already. If I don’t strain it too hard, I’ll be good.”

They both sit themselves on one of the wooden benches that are placed on the porch in front of the Packhouse. They can oversee a lot of activities going on outside. They can see Leo leading a training with a couple of females, they can see Danny discussing things with a couple of workers and they can see Alpha Evan doing some workout exercises. The front door swings open and without looking Chris knows immediately who’s coming through. The person closes the door and keeps standing in front of the steps to oversee everything that’s going on outside. As if the person is looking for someone.

“Jolena, are you looking for someone?” Nick wonders out loud.

She is obviously startled; she didn’t realise someone was sitting that close to her.

“Oh err, Chris! I was looking for you!” She looks at him, “do you have a minute?”

Chris gets up from the bench, “sure, shall we take a walk?”

“If that isn’t too much for you right now?” Jolena looks concerned at his shoulder.

Chris smiles, “I’ll be fine.” He takes her hand and walks down the steps, “come with me, I want to show you something. When we’re there we can talk.

When they have walked for a while, they arrive at the open clearing where his house is being built. The walls of the second floor are now done and the roof is on too, only the outside trimming needs to be done, windows built in and then the inside needs to be done. The weather is beautiful today, and it makes it truly clear why Chris has choses this spot to build his house.

Jolena looks around. “It is beautiful here,” she smiles.

“It is,” Chris smiles too. “What did you want to talk to me about?” He sits down on a tree that has fallen over, and Jolena joins him.

“I err,” she looks down to the floor. “I need time.”

“Time from what?” He frowns.

“I got really confused yesterday. I really felt the urge to take care of you, but I can’t place it. I wanted to go home, I wanted to live my life as it was. I don’t understand my feelings.” She shakes her head, then she looks at him with side eyes. “I need some time and some space to figure out what I feel for you and to decide whether I want to stay in the city, or that I want to move here. I really am not saying that I don’t want to see you anymore, I just need some time to figure out what I really want. Is that okay with you?” Now she turns her head fully to look him in the eye.

“Err,” he frowns confused. “I guess it’s better than your last decision where you didn’t want to see me at all.”

She smiles, “yes, it is. This means that I really want to give you a chance, but I don’t want to make any hasty decisions, especially because I am still shaken up from everything that has happened.”

She lifts her hand to stroke his stubbly cheek and he closes his eyes. The tingles erupt immediately as soon as their skins touch. “I love it when you do that,” he whispers softly. He opens his eyes again and looks her in the eyes. “Is it okay if I kiss you?” He whispers again.

“I think one kiss wouldn’t hurt.” She smiles shyly. He leans in and brushes her lips softly with his own. He grabs the back of her neck, his fingers in her hair, pulls her closer and kisses her with closed eyes. She kisses him back, tingles erupt, it’s like fireworks. With his tongue he runs over her lower lip, asking permission to enter and she opens her mouth. It gives him the opportunity to deepen the kiss.

After a while, he leans back a little, just enough so they touch with their foreheads. His eyes are still closed. They both breathe heavily. Doubting if they should go for another round, or if this should be enough. “Wow, that was- that was something,” Jolena breathes.

He smiles and leans backwards, lowering his hands. He grabs her hand and intertwines their fingers.

She looks around some more, she looks at the view, and then she looks over her shoulder to the unfinished house. “Whose house is this?” She asks, curiosity evident in her eyes.

“It’s yours.” He smiles lovingly.

“What? Mine?” Jolena looks confused.

“I started building this house a while ago, hoping to be able to share it with my mate to raise kids here. To share it with my family, with the love of my life.”

Jolena looks at her feet. “It must be a disappointment then, that you’re mated to a human who doesn’t know what she wants. You could have built this thing all for nothing.”

Chris shrugs. “If you don’t want to share it with me, I’ll give it to Leo when he’s found his mate or something, we’ll find a use for it.”

She still looks down at her feet. “I’m sorry if I’m hurting you, Chris. But I really need some time to figure things out.”

“It’s alright, Jolena.” he lifts his hand and strokes her cheek, forcing her to look in his eyes. “At least you’re honest with me. I can’t ask for more.”

When they’re back, he sits down on the porch again. Jolena went inside, but after a while she comes back out, with a suitcase and her purse. “Chris, do you think I can leave today?”

He gets up from his seat and steps in front of her. “Err, I don’t know if the trains still ride.” He frowns and thinks for a minute. Then he puts a hand in his pocket. “Here take this, it’s my sedan. You can borrow it as long as you need.”

Her eyes widen in surprise. “What, no! I can’t borrow your car!”

“Please Jolena,” he looks deeply in her eyes, so she doesn’t miss the true meaning of his words. “Take it and bring it back to me whenever you’re ready.”

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