When she's ready

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XXI

Elianne wakes up and feels disoriented. It takes her a couple of minutes to remember where she is. When she looks on the clock, she sees it’s still early

She opens the French doors to a little terrace outside with a bench and a huge flowerpot. Her room is on the ground floor, so she can walk to the lake without being seen.

When she listens to her surroundings, she’s surprised how quiet it is. Except for a couple of seagulls screeching far in the distance, she hears nothing. She grabs a cardigan from the top of her suitcase and puts it on, before stepping outside, barefoot.

She loves the sand under her feet and enjoys the silence around the lake. Everyone seems still to be asleep. She walks a little further to the dock that starts behind Uncle Richard’s garage. At the end of the dock, she sits herself down, her legs dangling over the edge of the dock.

She sits there for a while, enjoying the silence, the awakening of the world around her. She pricks up her ears when she hears someone’s footsteps.

“Morning, Elianne,” a male voice breaks the silence. When she looks next to her, she sees that Mike is there, crouching down to take a seat next to her. “Mind if I sit with you?” He hands her a mug with coffee and she shakes her head. “I saw you from the house, I thought you would like some freshly brewed coffee.”

Elianne smiles a little as to thank him but remains quiet.

Mike smiles. “You’re not very talkative, are you?”

She shakes her head again, and then smiles. “Sorry, I’m just enjoying this quiet morning.”

“And here I am, disturbing that very same silence. If you want me gone, you just have to say so.”

“No, it’s fine.” Elianne shakes her head. “Did you sleep well?”

Mike nods. “I did. I’m sleeping much better ever since I’m sleeping with Patricia next to me.” He sighs, when he sees Elianne frown, he explains himself. “Nothing intimate happens between us, don’t worry, I’m waiting for her to recognise me as my mate. But Patty insists on sleeping with me since she has heard of my sleepless nights.”

Elianne frowns. “Didn’t you sleep well before, then?”

Mike shakes his head and looks deeply into his half empty mug. “Not really. My father got kicked out of his pack when I was young. He and I have been living as rogues for years until I was fourteen. He abandoned me the day before my birthday.”

“You must’ve had a rough life then.” Elianne looks understandingly.

“Yeah,” Mike ruffles with his hand through his hair. “I’m grateful that Richard gave me a roof over my head when he found me. He is like the dad I never had.”

“What kind of father would abandon his kid like that?”

Mike shrugs. “Mine, apparently.” He places his mug beside him, reaches into his pocket and takes out a package of cigarettes. After taking one out, he holds up the package for Elianne, “want one?”

Elianne smiles and takes one. “Thank you.”

He lights up his lighter and holds it in front of her. She puts her cigarette in her mouth and holds it in the flame. “Hmm,” she sighs, “sometimes a smoke can be so good.”

He nods in agreement, “definitely. So, tell me something, why are you here?”

Elianne frowns, “what do you mean, why am I here? I visit Patty very often.”

“I know,” Mike smiles, “but what is the reason you are here, now? From what Patty told me, you always came mid-summer.”

“I’ve practically been sent away.” Elianne looks in the distance.

“Why?”

“The head-warrior claims that I am his mate. Because he is a son of the former Alpha, he has had a hard time reigning in his wolf. They’ve told me to come here to give his wolf time to calm down.”

“I see.” Mike nods understandingly. “So, it’s a little bit like mine and Patty’s situation.”

“A little bit.” Elianne nods too, “but you seem to have more control over your wolf than my mate does. My mate is twenty-four, he should be better at reigning in his wolf.”

Mike frowns and blows out some smoke. “I don’t know, maybe just because he is already waiting for his mate for so long, his wolf has gotten impatient. Could be hard to keep the guy under control. And just because I’m not showing it that much, doesn’t mean I don’t have a hard time controlling my wolf.” He winks. “Especially when Patty is asleep and pushes her butt into my groin. Man, then it’s so hard to fight my wolf’s urges.”

Elianne holds her hands against her ears. “I don’t want to hear it! Stop!”

Mike laughs and throws his head in his neck. “You aren’t telling me you are a prude, are you?” He looks at her with wide eyes.

“No! I- I just don’t need any details about your intimate moments with Patty!” Elianne blushes heavily.

Another pair of footsteps are audible. “Morning, Brandon.” Mike turns his head and greets the new visitor.

“Morning, Mike.” He growls with a sleepy voice, “hey stranger.”

When Elianne turns around to look at the man, her breath hitches. That man looks like he has just stepped out of an underwear commercial. Blue eyes, blonde hair and a sixpack full on show.

“Hi,” she greets him.

“There’s still some coffee in the pot in the kitchen, if you want some, you have to get it yourself.” Mike says.

“Thanks,” Brandon grumbles and walks away again.

Elianne watches him walking away. “Who is that? He looks like some kind of slick supermodel.”

Mike laughs. “That’s Brandon. He is the head-warrior of our pack.”

“Seriously?” Elianne looks at him with big eyes. “He is the head-warrior? He is way too good looking! Our head-warrior looks much tougher, or rougher, he’s a man that isn’t to be messed with. This Brandon looks like he is still green behind the ears, experience-wise I mean.

“Well, he is head-warrior only for six months now and nothing really serious has happened yet, so he is a little inexperienced, yes.” Mike smiles. “You seem to know much about warriors it seems, don’t you?”

Elianne smiles. “I’ve had warrior training. I trained with our head-warrior.”

“And you are wondering why he has a hard time reigning in his wolf?” Mike looks at her with a surprised laugh. “That’s like holding a bone in front of a wolf’s nose and taking it away every time he reaches for it. Girls in sports bras and tight sport leggings, sweating, bending their body’s in the most sensual ways, it would make any wolf drool, let alone your mate! Dang it, I wish I could’ve seen that.” Mike gasps, “or not, I don’t think Patty would approve.” He grins. “Are you going to train here too? I’d like to see you in action.”

Elianne shrugs, “I don’t know. Maybe if they’ll allow me.”

“Oh, they will, don’t worry,” Mike’s still grinning. “Did you spar with guys, or only with girls?”

“I have sparred with almost every one of the warriors. I only need to spar with the Captain.”

“The Captain?” Mike frowns confused. “Who’s that?”

“Our head-warrior’s nickname. He is kind of a tough guy with a regime like one of the army.”

“Right,” Mike nods. “So, you only need to take on your boyfriend, huh. Saving best for last?”

“He’s not my boyfriend!”

“Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Hun!” Mike smiles teasingly and gets up from his spot. “You’re head over heels in love with the man, admit it!”

Elianne gets up too and sighs. When they both start walking back towards the house, she says, “maybe I am. But I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t feel the mate-bond yet. I don’t want to give myself to a man that I’m not sure of whether he is my mate or not.”

“I feel you, girl.” Mike throws an arm around her shoulder and pulls her to him for a second. “I wish I had the perfect solution for you, but I don’t.”

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