Chapter 24 – Get Along
My gaze entwined with Tantore’s. I had not known him all that long, but I knew from his tight lips and stern gaze that he was not impressed with my questions. Never before had he directed such a look at me, other than before he had seen me step through that invisible barrier. The silence continuing, I realized he had no intention of answering me as I fidgeted uncomfortably. Keeping his gaze, I went to pull my arm back from his grip.
Unable to stop myself as his hand tightened on my mark, I could not resist the urge to cower away as his body moved toward my own. A sudden flash to my past, the flicker of fear I felt passed as a grunt split through the silence. My eyes closing in reaction, a thud sounded as a warmth surrounded me. No longer feeling Tantore presence I shook unable to control my body.
My jaw trembling, I kept my eyes sealed closed as I griped tightly on what I could only assume was Kiba’s. His hold on me secure, his arms held me tightly to his chest as I felt his other hand on my head softly stroking at my hair. “Shhh… it is okay Little Beaty. It’s okay, I’ve got you, nothing bad will happen.” Still trembling, I could not push the thoughts of what happened from my childhood out of my mind. The Grabbing, the hitting, the violence that always kept me afraid and separate. It was the final barrier that kept me alone for my whole life since I was old enough to make the choice myself. Then yesterday… Last night, why was my only barrier guilt. Not once was I gripped by terror, the only thing I felt was need and heat.
“Paige…” Tantore’s voice was low and almost apologetic, though obviously project from across the cave. Thinking he was going to continue, I braced myself as I tightened my grip on Kiba unconsciously. Kiba’s body vibrating around me, an almost roar echoed of the walls as I opened my eyes in fright. Seeing only darkness, my face was still buried in Kiba’s chest as he continued to stroke my hair softly. Feeling the tension in the air, I could hear Tantore’s footsteps as he made a noise of frustration leaving the cave. I had no idea if it was frustration at Kiba, me or himself. I clearly had a long way to go in understanding these men and this world.
“Settle down, he means well Little Beauty. He is just afraid.” Unsure at his meaning, and super unsure at his defence of Tantore. Kiba had literally just warned Tantore off, yet now he was protecting him. Allowing me to pull back, I looked into Kiba’s face. I had seen him last night, but in the light of day, it was almost overwhelming. His bright green eyes were soft like his touch as he moved his hand to my cheek slowly rubbing his thumb back and forth across my jawline. A hint of a smile moving across his lips, my heart jumped in awe as a look of question and insecurity was no doubt found covering my face.
A humour filled expression controlling his face deeply, he answered my questioning expression before I could even use or find my words. “We may as well all start trying to get along, like it or not, we both now belong to you, as you belong to us. Tantore is afraid I am assuming because Charlotte knows and is said to have returned to your world at one point in time.” Kiba’s face lowering towards my own, “Tantore is concerned that you may choose or try to leave this world and return to your own. He will be weakened, possibly could die if you left just like myself. Though unlike me, I only need worry about myself and you, he needs to watch over his entire tribe.”
So much information at once, it was almost overwhelming. Why would he… why would they weaken or die if I left? Would I also die? ‘Belong’… the word resounding within my mind, they belonged to me. My core clenching hard at just the thought of the ownership, the thought of belonging or keeping these men. An god, not just one, but both according to Kiba. Opening my mouth to speak, I watched as Kiba’s nostrils slightly flared, the reaction familiar in my mind. Maybe he could smell that, smell the arousal like Tantore could. Suddenly side tracked, I could no longer remember what I was going to say leaving only one sound to exit my throat lamely, “oh.”
Taking a deep breath Kiba continued. “Charlotte will be with her three males and cubs. I know two of them quite well, the third is a defector from Tantore’s tribe. If I understand correctly, he defected when Tantore tried to take Charlotte by force as his mate. Therefore, I highly doubt Derik would have allowed her to stay near our location, even though it was more than clear that Tantore already has you and no need for Charlotte. They will have taken her back to the Stone Tribe.”
Asking the only thing I could think of. The thing that was somehow bothering me the most in this entire conversation. “Are you not also afraid I will go back to my world? Are you not frustrated nor annoyed like Tantore?”
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-Making memories in Angela’s kitchen