When she's ready

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That same afternoon, Elianne decides to go for a run. She needs to stay fit if she wants to win her challenge with Brandon. When she is halfway, she sees Mike talking to a man. His eyes are glowing brightly, he seems angry.

“Hey Mike,” she breathes when she’s close by.

He turns around to see who’s there. “Hey Elianne,” he smiles.

“Is something wrong?” She asks, looking at the other guy.

“No, it’s fine. Everything is fucking fine.” Mike growls through gritted teeth. He turns around and walks away.

“Mike, wait!” Elianne follows him. Grabbing his shoulder to stop him.

“Don’t touch me!” Mike slaps her hand away, walking away again.

Elianne takes a sprint, leaps up and tackles Mike. He falls forward, but once on the ground quickly turns around. Now Elianne hoovers over him, their faces almost touch.

She feels two strong hands pulling her up by her shoulders and when she is up, her hands are being held behind her back. She tries to wriggle herself loose, but with no luck. Mike slowly gets up, rubbing his hands and elbows.

“Elianne, I thought you knew that Mike is already taken!” The voice that she recognises as Brandon’s comes from behind her. “What you just did is not done! What will Patty say if she hears this?” Brandon moves closer. She can feel his hard chest against her back. His breath fans one of her ears. “If you have a need for something, you could’ve just asked me, or any other single wolf, you know. Don’t rape Mike, take me instead, I’ll do it willingly, I’d be honoured.”

Elianne tries to wriggle loose again, to no avail. “That’s not what happened! I wanted to talk to Mike but he kept running away! Now can you let me go?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know if I can trust you. What if you have that need again, will you try to rape Mike again?”

Now Elianne has heard enough, she tries to wriggle herself loose again. When that doesn’t work, she gives him a headbutt, making him release her in an instant. He growls loudly. She turns around in an instant and steps forward with one foot, planting her knee somewhere between his guts and his groin. Brandon doubles over howling out in pain and throwing profanities at her.

Elianne takes a few steps backwards. Then she notices Mike still standing there. “Are you alright?” She asks him.

Mike nods. “Yeah. Next time warn me if you want to jump my back.”

“If you hadn’t been so stubborn, I wouldn’t have jumped your back. We could’ve just talked, you know.”

Mike nods and shrugs. “Yeah, sorry. I wasn’t really in the mood.” He crouches in front of Brandon, who acts as a pathetic little girl. “Are you alright?” He smiles when his friend gives him a stink eye. “Got beaten by a girl, how’s that?”

Brandon moves away from Mike and gets up. “God dang it. That fucking little bitch gave me a blow on the nose with her head! What the fuck was that?” He walks towards Elianne.

“If you would’ve listened to me and you released me like I asked you to, I wouldn’t have to use a headbutt and a kick in your gut. You asked for it yourself, you dickhead!”

Brandon is right in front of her, he grabs her by the throat with his hand. Their noses almost touch. “Get out of my face, Brandon! I mean it!” she warns him.

“No way that I let myself get beaten by a girl. A teenager at that!

“Brandon!” Mike calls out, grabbing him by the shoulders. “Let her go!”

Brandon raises his free elbow and tries to swing it in Mike’s face, but Mike is too quick and ducks down. Mike moves to their side and pulls Brandon’s shoulder away from Elianne. “Brandon, let her go! It’s not worth it, man.”

Brandon lets go. Elianne gasps for air and rubs her neck with her fingers, but he’s still right in front of her. “Don’t do that again, ever!” His face is red with anger. He points his finger at her. “I’m not sure I’m going to allow you to challenge me. This, this isn’t over yet!” Brandon turns on his heels and starts walking away. Slamming a tree with his fist on his way.

Elianne sighs. “Elly, are you alright?” Mike asks worriedly. He comes closer, pulls her hands away, but she doesn’t let him. “Elly, let me see. I want to see if he bruised you.” She let him move her hands from her neck to look at it. He frowns, “it’s red, it may be blue for a few days.” He takes a step back again. “I’m sorry he did this to you.”

Elianne shakes her read. “You aren’t responsible for his actions. He is a hothead and a jerk. He can’t stand the fact that he was defeated by a girl. He is old-fashioned and a sexist.”

She’s starting to get a headache, she forgot that with this confrontation she closed off her mind link. Apparently, someone wants to link her pretty badly.

‘Elianne! God damn it! If you don’t respond within a minute, I’m coming over and spank your ass so hard you won’t be able to sit for days!’

‘As hot as that sounds, I’d prefer to be able to sit, Captain.’ Elianne smiles.

‘Fucking hell, Elianne! Where are you? What’s going on? I felt your distress and pain in my neck. Why didn’t you respond sooner? I was worried sick!’

’I had another ‘friendly’ encounter with Brandon, the head warrior.’

‘He must have done a little more than talk this time, did he choke you?’

Elianne sighs.

‘Elianne! Talk to me!’

‘It’s nothing really. I defended myself and Mike was there too.’

’Elianne,’ Leo sighs. I need you to be okay, I need you to be safe. Are you safe?’

Elianne smiles. ‘I am now, yes.’

‘Please stay out of trouble, little one. I can’t handle this; my wolf is freaking out.’

‘I’ll do my best.’

‘Let me know how you’re doing, keep me in the loop. If I can’t be sure you’re safe I am going to come and get you, okay?’

Mike looks at her with a frown. “You zoned out.”

Elianne laughs, “yeah, sorry. My mate was worried, he needed to be reassured.”

Mike nods. “I see. You’ve got a fairly good connection with him, don’t you?”

Elianne smiles. “We’ve only mind linked twice now, but it’s nice that he cares so much.”

Mike smiles.

“What was that with you earlier, why didn’t you want to talk to me?”

Mike looks down for a second, then looks back with an apologetic look on his face. “Sorry about that. My father called me earlier. He wants me to go back to him. I got angry because I don’t want to.” Mike sighs and plops down on a tree stump. “I feel at home here. I feel like I am welcome here, like I belong here. And I feel like I finally have a family here. I don’t want to leave my mate and go back to that jerk!”

Elianne nods understandingly. “Aren’t you like an adult now? Can’t you choose what you want to do for yourself?”

“Yes, I am, but my dad is really pressuring me, making me feel guilty and talking about loyalty and shit.”

She lays a hand on his chest comfortingly. “Don’t let him talk you into something you don’t want. He has given you a hard life already, don’t give him the chance to do that a second time.”

Mike nods and places his hand over hers. “I won’t.” He smiles. “Thank you.”

Elianne frowns, “for what?”

“For being a friend.” Mike lets go of her hand but before she gets the chance to let it drop, he puts his arms around her. Engulfing her in a bearhug.

“Patty won’t be so happy if she smells another female on you.” She warns him and smiles.

“When she knows it’s you, she’ll be fine with it.” He smiles as well and lets her go. “Come on, let’s head back. I’ll link the pack-doctor so he can check up on you.”

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