When she's ready

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XXVIII

Elianne is by herself at the edge of the lake, this morning she’s been having these headaches that kept bothering her. This afternoon she feels somewhat better, so she decided to do some light exercises. Nothing too intense, because she still feels like her headache could come back full force any minute. The fresh air from outside makes her at least feel a little better.

“You’re looking sexy as fuck in those tight shorts,” a voice behind her says. Elianne turns around and looks right in the eyes of Brandon and she smiles.

“Hey.”

“I haven’t seen you at breakfast this morning. And at lunch you weren’t there either. Are you feeling alright?” He looks concerned.

Elianne smiles. “Did you miss me?”

“Nah, I just noticed that my favourite bicker-partner wasn’t there.” He can’t help but a small smile appears on his face, although he tries to keep a cool facade.

When he notices Elianne wants to get up from her mat, he reaches out his hand to help her up. The force he pulls her up with, is more than she expects, and she stumbles forward, right into his chest.

She places her hands against his chest, and he grabs her shoulders to steady her. “Err, sorry,” she can’t help but run her fingers over his rock-hard muscles. She hadn’t noticed before how sculpted his chest is. When she looks up, she looks straight into his eyes. His eyes cloud over, a look she can’t decipher darkens his eyes. His jaw tightens and he lets her go, taking a step back at the armed time as if he burnt himself.

“Hey guys!” Mike’s voice sounds from a distance. “Have you made friends with each other yet?” He asks when he comes closer.

Elianne and Brandon just look at each other, but don’t say anything.

“Guys,” Mike raises his eyebrows. “Cat got your tongues?”

“I need to talk to the Alpha about the new training-schedules.” Brandon turns around and walks away.

Mike frowns. “What was that about? Did you guys fight again?”

Elianne shakes her head. “No. I don’t know what happened.” She sighs.

Mike looks at her inquisitively. “What’s going on with you two?”

“I don’t know!” Elianne exclaims. “Shut up about it!” She bends down and picks her mat up from the ground. When she stands straight again, she sees Mike overlooking the lake.

“What did you need me for?” she asks.

Mike turns his head to look at her. “You and I, he says while looking back at the lake, we kind of are in the same situation, right?”

“I guess so, yes.” Elianne looks at him, “why?”

“I think Patty has feelings for someone else.”

Elianne looks shocked, “what?”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought too.”

“How-” Elianne doesn’t know what to say.

“I’m confused, Elianne, now I’m doubting my own feelings for her. I’m not sure that what I thought were signs that she is my mate, were really signs of her being my mate or just me being in love with her.”

Elianne frowns.

Mike turns around and looks at her. “I really thought it was the mating-bond. But now I think I was blinded by my crush on her. I just wanted it too badly, I guess.” He shrugs.

“I’m sorry for you Mike.” Elianne gives him a hug. “If it’s really true, it’s sad we’re not going to be family after all. I would’ve loved you as my cousin-in-law.”

He smiles a little. “We’ll see what happens when Patty becomes of age. For now, I’m moving back to my own room.”

“Does Patty know?” Elianne asks.

Mike shakes his head. “Not yet, but I plan on telling her as soon as I see her.”

Elianne hugs him again. “If you ever need a talk, you know I’m here for you, okay?”

He nods. “I know, thanks.”

That evening, Elianne sets herself on the dock at the lake, grabbing her pack of cigarettes and taking one out. When she puts one between her lips, she grabs the lighter with her other hand and lights it. She inhales deeply and closes her eyes. She relaxes instantly, her headache is clearly less throbbing now.

She frowns. Where does that headache come from anyway? She never has headaches.

She is so deep in thought; she only hears someone sitting beside her. “Goodness,” she says shocked, “I didn’t hear you coming.”

Brandon smirks. “Didn’t mean to startle you, honey.”

She grabs the pack of cigarettes she had put beside her and hands them to him, “want one?”

He nods and takes them from her. Lighting his own. When he lays them back in between them, he touches her hand by accident. He holds still cautiously. When she doesn’t pull back, he lays his hand on top of hers softly and keeps it there, while they both smoke. They sit there quietly, enjoying the peace.

After a while, Brandon sighs. Elianne turns her head to look at him. “How was your day?”

He turns his head as well and looks at her with raised eyebrows. “Seriously, you’re going to talk about things like that?”

“Err, yeah?” Elianne frowns, “what else should we talk about? The weather?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugs and looks at her inquisitively. “Is it just me? Am I the only one feeling this?”

Elianne looks at him with wide eyes. “I don’t know, what do you mean?”

Now he turns his whole body to face her. He lifts his hand and caresses her cheek softly. “You don’t feel this.” He determines.

He pulls his hand away and looks down avoiding her eyes and he sighs deeply.

“Brandon-”

He holds up his hands to stop her and shakes his head. “Don’t,” he looks hurt, “please don’t make it worse. Don’t say anything.”

“Brandon!” She says, a bit louder when she sees that he gets up to walk away. “Brandon! Stop, don’t walk away! I have no idea what you’re talking about!”

But he doesn’t want to hear it, he walks to the Packhouse, away from her.

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