My Arctic Mate

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Chapter 19: A Sign of Trust

Red:

I woke with the sun streaming through my window. I slept more deeply than ever before. Smiling, I stretched my arms wide, running my hands over the empty bed next to me.

“Luca?” I questioned into the silence of my room.

Closing my eyes for one more minute of peace, I smelled something…burning.

Jumping to my feet, I scrambled out from under the light sheets and ran towards the stairs. Racing down two steps at a time, I rushed into my small kitchen.

Chuckling, I came face to face with a very frustrated Luca cursing under his breath at my busted old toaster. Just as his claws were growing in frustration I ran over and saved the contraption that I call an appliance.

“You have to be gentle with her!” I took his hand away and placed the charred remains of a piece of toast on a pile with other burned pieces. Pushing the setting only half way down, the burning smell cleared as I felt him heave a sigh of relief.

“It’s not her I want to be rough with.” He murmured, his eyes becoming a darker blue. Turning to face him, he placed his hands on my hips.

The air suddenly becoming thick, I brushed his tousled hair away from his eyes as his expression grew hungry. And not for the charred remains of the toast he was unsuccessfully trying to make.

I bit my lip, suddenly aware of how little of my body these stupid pajamas covered. His eyes hungrily taking in my curves in the bright morning light of my kitchen, I had nowhere to hide from him this time.

I wanted him, and from the look on his face, he felt the same way. I traced my fingertips up his toned abdomen, feeling him shutter beneath my touch. He was wearing loose fitting sweatpants that hung low on his perfectly shaped hips, leaving his chest bare to the cool air.

Growling deep, his grasp on my hips increased as he roughly lifted me to meet his kiss forcefully. Wrapping my arms around his neck I lost myself in the feeling of his lips on mine. Wrapping my legs around his waist, I felt him set me on my counter, giving his hands freedom to roam.

I gasped when I felt his large palm press my lower back against him harder, his other hand skimming tantalizingly across the front band of my boy shorts.

My wolf was howling in my head, taking a page from his book, I hooked my fingers in his hair. Roughly pulling his head to the side I felt my own canines lengthen as I nipped the tender flesh of his neck, trailing my kissed along the muscles of his shoulder.

Suddenly I could feel my eyes change, my body hyper focused on Luca’s skin, his breathing, the spot on his shoulder where I wanted so badly to sink my teeth into that my jaw ached.

I heard his breathing become ragged as he moved his body against me. “Do it Red, mark me,” he breathed.

I wanted to, I really did. It took all my strength and willpower to release my hold from his neck and sit back to look him in the eye.

“Red, I’m having difficulty holding him back.” He growled, his eyes now completely a deep blue.

“Lucian wants to hear her voice, he’s tearing me up inside with longing.”

I knew exactly what he meant, Lucian wants to hear my wolfs voice. Her cries in my mind were making my head pound, she was desperate to hear him too. I shook myself trying to clear my thoughts.

“Luca, I’m sorry I need you to see her…see all of me first.” My wolf was pacing in my head, she was as torn as I was. But we both knew that he had to know the truth.

Nodding, he closed his eyes, resting his forehead against mine. His breath evening, wordlessly, he took my hand and led me upstairs.

“Pack some clothes, we’ll leave now for the plains. We’ll be back in plenty of time to see Jarrod’s event.”

Moving quickly around my room, I dressed in black skinny jeans, red boots and an oversized off the shoulder maroon sweater. It would be cold on the plains, but I needed to dress comfortably since I’d be removing my clothes anyway.

“Jarrod is competing today?” I questioned.

“Mhmm, he’ll be part of the stealth trials tonight.”

I’d heard the buzz about that event. It was essentially a large-scale paintball match set up in a large plot of forest had been sectioned off. It was littered with traps and would be held in the dead of night.

Grabbing several large blankets, I wanted to save some modesty as we had never seen each other completely naked before. With the strong physical pull I felt towards him, I knew that I would need some sort of a barrier from being completely bare before we shift.

“Sounds like a plan! You ready to go?” Stepping out of the bathroom, Luca had changed into black jeans, boots and a white knit sweater that matched his stark white hair and really brought out the striking contrast in his light blue eyes.

Goddess, give me strength. I wanted to rip the clothes off of him already, but we had more important things to do.

Luca:

Taking one of the open-top Jeeps that Atlas had supplied to the packs for travel to and from the event, the drive to the plains was quiet. Red gave me directions here and there but for the part seemed to be distracted in her thoughts.

I could feel the nervous energy rolling off of her already, making me wonder how connected we will be when we can feel each other’s emotions fully after the mating mark is done. Once marked, each mate can sense each other’s feelings. If a strong enough bond, they will be able to literally feel the other’s happiness, pain and love, no matter the distance.

As we drew closer to our destination, she was practically rigid in anticipation. Parking just past the tree line, I put my hand on her knee, trying to calm her. Looking up at me with worry strewn across her features, I felt my stomach clench in anger.

What had Rose and Dan said or done to her that would make her this afraid to reveal her wolf and her power to me? My wolf mirrored my frustration, becoming even more frantic to be released and to show her our own true power so that she would never worry about her own safety ever again.

“Red, before we leave I want to tell you about what Dan and I spoke of the other night.”

She nodded, her eyes wide. “What did he tell you about me and the others?”

“He told me that some of the orphans have gifts from the goddess. And that he and Rose have tried to shield you all from the outside world from fear that you will be hunted or hurt.”

Her eyes were full of emotion as she sat silently.

“I know he fears for you. He said that no one has seen you shift in years, what is it you are so afraid of Red? I promise I can protect you –“ my words trailed off as I brushed hair away from her cheek.

“You should not fear your power, whatever it is. I promise I can help you, train you so that you never need to fear shifting again.”

“Luca what if I hurt you? I couldn’t live with myself if –“ her voice faltered as tears dripped down her cheeks.

I took her face in my hands, “Red you can’t hurt me. I have power too, my wolf is more powerful than the stories.”

“Trust me…please.” I pleaded with her, taking her hand in mine. I brushed my lips against her knuckles, I felt her relax with the intimacy of our contact. As she took in my words, I wiped away her tears as we sat silently for one more moment. Lucian was pacing in my head, he wanted to be able to tell her everything we felt in his own voice.

We both stripped down on opposite sides of the car and wrapped ourselves in large blankets before walking into the emptiness of the icy plains.

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