Conflicted Affection

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22

My mom runs up to Alexa and picks her up, twirling her around as they both smile.

Everyone was back now and they all looked either happy, tired, or relieved--maybe even all three.

Max comes up to me, making me tense up a bit until he pulls me into a hug, "I'm glad you're ok." He says as he pulls away with a smile.

"Thanks, Maximus." Ryland jokes.

"Don't push it." Max says, jokingly pushing him.

I smile at the scene until I feel tiny arms on my leg, making me move back in shock.

The soft giggles from below makes me smile as I bend down to hug Alexa and Maybelle as they tackle me to the ground.

***

It's been about nine months since I was kidnapped and nothing much has happened. Max is still lonely, me and Ryland still love each other dearly, and Sean and Lela are the same. The only thing that has changed is that there is this new girl at school who has befriended us; Jacklyn Clark, a girl who is almost exactly like Sean, except a lot more cautious with how she talks to people.

She got Lela to talk a bit more, but that's about it. Max does think she is cute, but he doesn't see her as a mate from what I've heard from Ryland. They're trying to keep him from doing what he did with other girls--which is thinking they are his mate but they aren't, and leading them on until he leaves because he doesn't find them to be the one.

I guess that's why he had so many girlfriends, huh?

I think I know why he sometimes looked at either me and Ryland or Sean and Lela with an annoyed look. I honestly feel kind of sorry for him. Everyone else has their mate, yet he remains alone.

He is still sitting sadly at the lunch table across from Jacklyn herself.

"Oh my god, guys! I totally forgot to tell you! My friend Sadie just got back from the airport! She is honestly kind of like my sister." She smiles.

"Is she coming to this school?" Sean asks.

"Yep! She is coming tomorrow!" She shouts, gaining the attention of the whole cafeteria. She mouths an apology and continues, "She's going to love you all! I'm so excited!" She says, taking a big messy bite out of her pizza.

Lela giggles at her and Max simply glances at her before turning back to his book on Forensics.

That's also something I recently learned about him: he wants to go into the FBI. He is actually pretty interesting once you get to know him.

The bell rings and everyone gets up. As usual, Jacklyn rushes excitedly to her next class while Max walks slowly behind us all.

***

Today was the day to meet Jacklyn's friend/sister. I was excited, but afraid of Jacklyn's energy coming at me like a bomb.

At least I prepared myself. Jacklyn rushes in the cafeteria holding hands with a shocked and stressed out looking girl. She seemed to be yelling at Jacklyn about something.

Jacklyn bumps into the table, saying, "Ouch!" only once before going in, "This is Sadie!" She pants.

"Hi!" We all say, except Max, of course. He simply stares at his book, yet isn't as still as he normally is. He fidgets as his eyes widen, but I try to ignore him.

"Hi." Sadie says smiling. She glances at Max shortly then looks down at the table.

"She doesn't like talking that much." Jacklyn says.

"You sound like my mother." Sadie teases, earning a gasp from Jacklyn and a slight smile from Max, who is still fidgeting.

"So, that's Ryland, Dillan, Sean, Lela, Max," Jacklyn introduces quickly before sitting down to eat her food.

"Geez," Sadie says, making me giggle.

"Where did you guys move from again?" I ask.

"Vancouver,"

Suddenly Max jumps up, rushing out of the cafeteria as quickly as possible. Everyone is worried--even Sadie and Jacklyn.

Sean gets up, but Lela stops him, "Ryland should go," She suggests, and Sean agrees.

Ryland gives a nod before getting his phone and rushing out of the cafeteria and towards Max.

***

Ryland's POV:

I rush out to the courtyard in attempts to catch up with Max.

"Max!" I shout. No response, "Max!" I pant.

"What?!" He shouts, turning around and giving me a stern look, "Make it quick, I have to go."

"What's wrong?"

"None of your business. What do you want?" I study him for a bit. He shocks me when he shouts, "What do you want?!"

"What happened in there?"

"Just leave it alone! Its probably nothing, just like every time."

"Huh?" I ask. My nerves burst like a rocket, "Max..."

"What?!" He says quieter with tears in his eyes.

"What did you- What did you feel when Sadie entered the room?"

"It doesn't matter! Just please let me go! I have to get out!" He growls as a tear rolls down his cheek. He walks quickly away from me.

I run towards him and wait until we get into the forest to turn into a wolf and tackle him. He isn't going to tell me on his own, but his wolf might.

A look of anger is plain on his face as he pushes me off with all of the strength in him, There's the wolf.

His wolf bursts out of his chest, pinning me to the ground. I try to hold back the disgusted thoughts as he drools on me in anger. I fear if he hears an insult, he won't hesitate to rip my head off.

I can see what he is thinking and hear it as if it was my own. He remembers her voice and her scent, yet, of course I can't know that.

You found her, his wolf shouts at him.

No I didn't! He growls. He takes his anger out on me--he scratches, bites, and hits me with all his might.

He then stops, looking at me straight in the eyes, What did you smell when she came in? He asks.

I try to remember, yet all I know is I smelt the pizza in front of me, so I said that, Pizza? I don't know I didn't smell much.

He stares at me before slowly backing away, told you. I hear his wolf say.

All Max does is lay down. I watch him for a bit before walking away slowly, leaving him with his own thoughts.

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