“What has changed then?” I asked after I clipped on my seatbelt. Xerxes looked across at me briefly as he drove, a low hum coming from the engine of his car as we exited my mother’s neighborhood.
“Easton decided that it’s best that Kesley go into the meeting alone. We will stay outside whilst she enters and we will be able to hear what is being spoken. A camera will be attached to her and we shall also see what she sees from a nearby area.”
A thrill of excitement coursed through my body and my lips twitched. “Ah.”
Xerxes looked at me sternly. “We still will have to be very aware of our surroundings. Although we won’t be inside the building, we need to be cautious. So no playing around, Becca.”
I rolled my eyes, feeling like I was being reprimanded. “Okay daddy.”
The car screeched, almost coming to a halt. I mentally face palmed myself at my choice of words, my throat tightening with embarressment.
A slow, playful grin lifted the corners of Xerxes’ lips, all seriousness disappearing, his eyes piercing mine.
“So I’m your daddy now, huh?” He spoke huskily, barely keeping his eyes on the road. My heart clenched at the gaze I was given, at the wantonness and desire he exuded. His hands braced the steering wheel when he finally looked away, nostrils flaring as he focused on the road as a horn blew from behind us.
I inhaled, settling back in the seat when it seemed that he wouldn’t be pouncing on me. Lightning flashed overhead, thunder rumbling in the sky. I chewed on my lip as raindrops began to fall, hand moving to the radio as a reporter spoke of heavy rainfall approaching.
We hadn’t even arrived to our destination when the rain got harder, pelting down on the windshield. Xerxes turned on the heater, the one hand still steering the vehicle clenching the wheel.
“So, Becca,” His voice was low, deep. “How are you enjoying college?”
I scoffed. “College is college.” I muttered. “The work sometimes can be tough.”
The car slowed as it turned a corner. Lightning illuminated the sky. “And has that boy spoken to you recently?”
I blinked. “What boy?”
“The boy who I saw you with the day I collected you.”
“Oh.” I paused. “You mean Mathew. Yeah, we talked yesterday actually.”
“So you and him are friends then?” The sentence was roughly spoken, guttural. I squinted in thought.
“No. More like acquaintances I guess. Well, not even that.”
Xerxes made a noise of displeasure in the back of his throat, driving the car into a parking lot and the downpour of rain increased. I sat up, narrowing my eyes at a parked van.
“That is Easton’s.” Xerxes said, parking near it and shutting the engine off. The door of the van slid open, revealing the large werewolf inside. I got out the car and took his hand, letting him help me into his vehicle. Xerxes got in as well and locked the door quietly behind him.
It was odd, seeing both of these tall men in this small van, traces of their discomfort displayed on their face as they trudged to the back area of the vehicle.
A sleek laptop and a few other computers rested on tables. Easton knelt slightly, tapping a finger on the keyboard, allowing the dark van to become brighter from the light coming from the laptop. Thunder roared outside, a dark, terrifying sound that made me freeze. I could hear the rain falling on the roof above, the noise echoing.
“Would you like to sit?” Xerxes asked, his gaze sweeping over me in concern. He must’ve noticed my surprise from the weather outside. I jerked my head and shifted over to the only chair in the van. Xerxes continued to watch me for several seconds, his face softening, until Easton called for his attention.
“Kesley is here,” He said, and the van’s door slid open, a gust of wind and rain drifting into the vehicle, immediately making me recoil. Easton shuffled over and slammed it shut as a soaked Kesley ambled inside, not affected by her wet clothes. She rubbed at her face, wiping driplets of rain away.
“I haven’t seen anyone in the building as yet.” She said in her lovely British accent, her eyes going to Easton and then Xerxes. “Maybe they all are very late.”
A light switched on, the brightness making me wince. Easton and Xerxes began to talk and it seemed that Kesley and I were quickly forgotten. She glanced down at me and gave a smile.
“You look comfortable.” She murmured. With a soft grunt, she decided to rest on the ground beside me. Looking at her watch, she sighed, allowing her head to tilt sideways, stretching her neck muscles.
As minutes passed, she shifted on the ground uncomfortably. When I began to stand to offer her my seat, she quickly dismissed the proposal.
“How old are you, Rebecca?” She asked, suddenly.
She lifted her head. “And how are you taking this whole mate business situation you have going on?”
I paused. I hardly knew this woman, and I was not certain I wanted to answer those personal questions. She saw my wariness.
“I was just curious...because I have noticed that Xerxes seems more interested in you than you in him.” She said, all matter-of-factly. “I know few werewolves who were mated with humans and they argued plenty. Most of the humans despised their partners because of their race.”
When I said nothing, she continued, “I mean, it’s so obvious that Xerxes cares deeply for you. He’s being so gentle with you, so considerate, a side of him which I’ve rarely seen.”
“You’ve only seen us together for less than fifteen minutes.”
Delicate blond brows raised. “That’s all the time I needed to figure out how much he adores you. I’ve also known him for many years; we worked alongside one another in business.” Easton called her name and she leaned forward and patted my leg. “It’s just a matter of time before you get rid of that pride of yours and allow yourself to fully accept him.”
I watched as she stood, walking over to dark corner, where Easton stood. My eyes traced the form of Xerxes, my fingers tapping restlessly against the armchairs. Kesley’s soft spoken words echoed in my head as I watched him swiftly switch on the computers in the room, glancing back at me every now and then.
I was at times, a bit blunt of a person. That characteristic at times could be good in some situations and in other situations, not so much. When Xerxes came into my life, I was more than harsh on him and I still to this day believed that he deserved my spiteful words and actions. Things between us now have obviously changed, but I am very cautious and almost reluctant when it comes to showing any affection towards him.
There has been a handful of times in which I’ve seen the look of pure frustration on Xerxes’ face when I denied his genuine advances. But recently, I have stopped doing this, which has led to the several intimate exchanges that has happened between us throughout the last month.
I watched as Xerxes finally came to a stop near Easton, smoothly joining in the conversation he was having with Kesley as they spoke of different techniques they would use to hear what would be discussed in the meeting that Kesley would be going to.
Silver eyes flashed when they met mine and I recalled some of the young british lady’s words,
It’s just a matter of time…
“Let’s give them ten more minutes,” I finally decided, wiping at my bleary, tired eyes two hours later. “And if they don’t show up we’ll leave.”
“Agreed.” Easton said from where he sat. He had taken my seat and had reclined comfortably, staring through a window which we all faced. Kesley grunted, looking tired as she paced back and forth, stretching her legs. The weather had not lessened at all and instead, worsened. The lightning and thunder was becoming regular, the once small pockets of rain a heavy, endless shower.
Ten minutes passed and Xerxes emerged from.the driver’s seat. Whilst the three of us in the back looked tired, he instead appeared wide-awake and irritated.
“They must’ve cancelled the meeting because of this weather.” He told us, hands going into the pockets of his large coat. “We should head home, before it becomes even more dreadful.”
I scrambled out of my chair eagerly, startling everyone in the room. I didn’t care; I had some college work to finish off and I was tired.
I felt the soft yet heavy material of Xerxes’ coat go over my head when I made my way to the van door. He gestured for me to step out and I did so carefully, groaning at the feeling of the cold raindrops against my skin.
Using his coat as a protection for my head, I crossed the very short distance to his car, quickly getting in. Xerxes started the engine and immediately turned on the heat, watching as I folded his coat.
“Are you hungry?” He asked, smiling at the sound of my grumbling stomach. My answer was a slow nod, my eyes straying to the window beside me as he drove. This weather was horrible.
“I will stop to buy something then,” Xerxes told me. “Greta is probably asleep by now and I will not bother her.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these food resturants have closed early.” I told him, hoping that they hadn’t. I was famished and could do with some nice barbecued chicken.
We finally came across a resturant which had a drive-thru and got some food. Xerxes looked amused as I moaned about the heat from the food and how much I would enjoy devouring it once we got home.
Sissy was up, watching television when we arrived at the house. Her eyes widened when they landed on her brother and she quickly switched off the television.
“Aren’t you supposed to be in bed?” Xerxes asked, going over to where she sat. “Come on, I will walk with you to your room.”
I set out my dinner as they left, chucking off my shoes and waddling over to the couch. The food was eaten quickly, for I had remembered mid bite that I had an assignment due in the evening tomorrow. Wiping my hands clean with a tissue, I went for my bag and returned to the living room, where Xerxes now stood, wearing a bewildered expression as he held his meal.
“Where is your food?” He questioned as I dropped a book on the ground and sat on the carpet. I grinned up at him, rubbing my stomach.
“It’s not healthy for you to eat so fast.” Xerxes spoke gruffly as I set out my books. “And I had hoped we could’ve eaten together.”
I paused for a milisecond, my hand poised over my book. Slowly I looked up at the towering Alpha and his frown of disappointment.
He scoffed, collapsing on the sofa. “If you need any help with that,” He nodded towards my work and switched on the television. “Feel free to ask me.”
“I doubt you know anything about Psychology.” I paused. “Do you?”
His laugh was soft. “I’ve studied it before.” He said. “When I was your age.”
“That must’ve been a century ago, right?” I joked.
I choked on my spit. “Are you serious?”
He looked away from the flat screen. “Yes. I believe you were told that from Sissy. Is my age a problem?”
I swallowed. “You’re old as fuck.”
He certainly didn’t look his age though. There was no sign of wrinkles, no grey hair. But he didn't exactly look boyishly youthful either.
“Yes. Yes I am.” He muttered to my statement. For the next hour, no words were spoken between us. After he had finished his meal he left the room. I managed to complete most of the work, but knew it would be another thirty minutes before I finally finished it off. When I straightened from my position on the floor, resting my back on the couch, a cup of tea was held before me, which I took, quietly thanking Xerxes.
I was seriously beginning to question why I bothered with college. I really did like Pyschology, I found it interesting, but the stress that came with it was overwhelming at times. Xerxes had more than once made it clear that I won’t have to work a day in my life and that he would provide whatever it is that I desired, but I didn’t feel comfortable depending on him completely for everything. But the jobs which I could acquire with the degree were not something that I believed I would enjoy.
Was I wasting my time studying this?
The scalding hot tea burnt my tongue after I attempted to take a sip. I looked back at my work and sighed, lifting my pen and beginning to place an answer.