Touch

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Chapter 5| Ambivalence

I saw crimson, I was ready to attack when Maverick reminded me that the brotherhood was exactly that, a brotherhood.

As calm overtook me, I could envision his mental eye roll as he said nonchalantly, "You wouldn't attack our mate, anyway."

I didn't bother responding, but he was right, it was the 21st century and the brotherhood was just as steeped in misogyny as the day it was founded.

Although she wasn't part of the brotherhood, she had some relation to it, and that was enough to make me back away.

It stung-the absence of her touch-more than I wanted to admit, but I was more preoccupied with the possibility of the brotherhood's existence. I was certain I eliminated every member, could it be they were still in operation?

Was she a supporter?

Was our meeting a sheer coincidence, or was I her target?

Did she know who I was or what I was?

So many questions, but the one thing I knew was that I couldn't trust her. Not yet anyway, I had to put Shawdowfang first before all else.

As I pondered what this all meant, I listened as she left, rushing to get to the elevator. I was determined to let her leave, it was imperative that I figure this out, but Maverick had other plans.

He forced me back to the recesses of my mind and charged out of the room. Maverick was now on the hunt. As I struggled to regain control, her arousal hit us full force, freezing us in place.

At the end of the corridor stood Amina, using the wall for support as she tried to catch her breath.

Eyes fixated on her, Maverick's breathing grew heavy; he was decided, we would have her and deal with the repercussions later.

As the elevator doors opened, he moved to stop her but was taken aback by the voice that rung loud in clear in our head.

Only his touch could relieve me of the ache burning through me. Only his touch could bring me that kind of euphoria again. Only his touch.

Instinctively knowing it was her was enough to reignite the flame in me. I couldn't help it even if I tried, I regained control, ready to claim what was mine, but before I could move the doors began to close.

I couldn't think another thought past the fact that she was right, I was the only person who could make her feel this way, make her feel things she'd never before felt.

"Only me, " was my last thought, and as the door closed, I watched as her eyes widened in recognition; did mind I just link her? Wait, did she mind link me?

What are you, Amina?

~~~~

For the first time in my life, I did not know how I felt. I've always been so sure of myself, my thoughts my actions, but at present, I was a mix of emotions.

I wanted her, but couldn't trust her. I cared for her but didn't want to. If a clear neon sign labeled "Stay away" was a person, it was Amina.

I doubted the bond, and with each passing negative thought, it snapped back at me with equal force.

I sat in my office staring into the flames, willing it to provide me with the answers I so desperately needed.

As if on cue, my beta entered the room taking a seat on the couch. I could sense that he wanted to say something, but in my current mood, he wasn't certain I'd be the most receptive.

I don't blame him, of late I've been known for having a mood swing or two, at that thought Maverick snorted before he said, "More than two...much more."

I ignored him, choosing to focus on my beta instead, "You may speak freely, Balfore," I said as I turned from the flames to face him.

He nodded, "Alpha, the Goddess does not make mistakes. Do you understand how rare it is to have a second chance mate?"

I remained silent, giving him a sharp nod, this was nothing I hadn't already thought of; my eyes went back to the fires as he continued, "Nevertheless, I understand the need to be on guard. We cannot risk the pack, so I have ordered the men to bring up every document we have on the brotherhood from the archives. There has to be information in there about the Luna, surely-"

"She is no Luna of mine yet, and she may very well never be," the words tore from my throat faster than I could think. I would not, could not put the pack at risk.

I had no idea who she was, and as much as I needed to know there was a part of me that didn't want to.

He paused for a moment, giving the tension in the room time to dissipate before he responded, "I say this to you as your beta and your friend, you know what happens when the bond is not completed. You will go feral, Malachai. I'm afraid the Goddess has backed you into a corner, and you're lashing out instead of facing your new reality. How you managed to maintain your sanity after Elaine is beyond me, I always gave credit to your hybrid nature, but I may very well be wrong."

He paused, eyeing the obsidian ring on my middle finger, and I rumbled a warning to my second in command.

He put his hands up in defense, "I know you don't like it when we mention her, and for that, I apologize. I'm just saying Malachai, without Amina, Shadowfang will be at risk, with her we may be at risk. I must admit, this is quite the test the Goddess has laid out for you."

I scoffed at his last remark before responding, "Yeah, we'll see about that."

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