When she's ready

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VIII

Elianne holds still at the green front door. She leans against the doorframe with one hand, hunching over to catch her breath. She was shocked, the way the Captain looked at her, the way his lips felt on hers. On the one hand it was a lovely kiss, but on the other, this is unheard of. For heaven’s sake, he is her Captain, he is her boss! It doesn’t mean that he can just do whatever he likes. It doesn’t give him the right to take advantage of his power over her. The more she thinks about it, the angrier she gets. Good for him that she slapped him in the face, she should’ve slapped him even harder.

Elianne walks inside and slams the door shut, walking straight over to the stairs to the basement, to see how her grandma is doing. When she comes down, her grandma immediately gets up, asking her curiously, “And? Did you kick some guy’s ass?”

Elianne can’t help herself but smile, her grandma is really something else. “Yes, grandma, I did. I beat a guy up.” She’s tempted to add: ‘and I slapped the Captain right in his face’, but she doesn’t.

She helps her grandma up the stairs, back to the kitchen and starts making tea. A loud knock on the door breaks the comfortable silence they are in. When she opens the door, she comes face to face with the man she really doesn’t want to see right now. She tries to slam the door shut in his face, but he is too fast, stopping the door with his hand. “Elianne, please,” he says softly with pleading eyes. “We need to talk.” His eyes give her a look she can’t decipher, a shine she doesn’t recognize. Is he- is he about to cry? The tough and strong Captain? That’s something new.

She steps outside, not willing to let him into her home, and closes the door. “What do you have to say?” She doesn’t look at him but looks at the trees in front of the house.

“Look,” he tries to catch her gaze, “I’m sorry for kissing you. I got carried away in the moment and I shouldn’t have let that happen.”

“You know I’m under aged, right. If my father hears this, you’ll be dead. The only one who has the right to kiss me, is my mate.”

“I know,” he moves in front of her, trying to put his arms on her shoulders so he can look her in the eye. But she wriggles out of his hold, she can’t stand his touch. “I’m terribly sorry. But that’s the thing, you are my mate.”

She instantly takes a step back, she is furious. Her hand hits his cheek hard, the other one this time. “How dare you! Don’t lie to me, jerk!” She pushes him against his chest. “Now you’re just making excuses so you can kiss me! Don’t think you can get away with that so easily!”

The Captain rubs his cheek to lighten the sting. “But Elianne, I am not lying! You truly are my mate!” He looks hurt and deeply sad, his voice breaks. “Please, you have to believe me.”

“Stop!” She shoves him in his chest again, now with a little more force and he stumbles back. “How long have you known, is this why you made me a warrior? To have me close? To gain my trust and to be able to make your move at the right moment?” While she talks, he shakes his head, fighting the tears that are about to fall from his eyes. “There’s what, about eight years between us? Do you like younger girls? Maybe because they’re easy targets?”

“Elianne-”

“No!” She holds up her hands to him to stop him. “Don’t do this. I don’t want to hear this anymore. I am going to stay here taking care of my grandmother and I don’t want to see you anymore. I want you to leave. Now!” She turns around, walks back into the cabin and slams the door shut. She leans against the door, shaking like a leaf.

After Elianne shuts her door, Leo turns around and walks to his truck and quickly steps inside. Once his door is shut, he slams the steering wheel with a loud roar. He made a mistake and scared the girl away. He was so absorbed in the moment, that he couldn’t stop himself. He only noticed that he went too far when it already was too late and now everything is broken. He starts the engine of his truck and drives away. He’ll have to discuss this with his brother. Maybe Chris has some good advice, or maybe he knows how to fix this.

It’s a few hours later, the peace and quiet has returned in the Packhouse, everything is back to normal. Except for one person, Leo. He walks back and forth in Chris’s office, waiting for his brother to return from his duties. Suddenly the door opens and Jolena walks in. “Oh,” she looks surprised, “Hi Leo, are you waiting for Chris?” She walks further into the office, grabbing a pull that was lying on Chris’s big leather chair.

“Err, I am, actually,” Leo looks down to his feet, not knowing what to say to Jolena.

“Leo, what’s wrong?” Jolena frowns worriedly, “something is obviously bothering you. Do you want to talk to me instead?” She closes the door of the office.

“I don’t know,” Leo doubts whether he should say anything to her and shrugs.

“Leo, hey,” she says quietly, and she steps closer to him, and starts to rub his upper arms. “You know you can tell me anything, right?” A warm comfortable feeling starts to flow from where Jolena touches him. It’s not the same feeling he got when he touched Elianne, it’s more comforting, the comforting feeling only a Luna can give you.

“I know, Jo.” He looks at her, still unsure. “I don’t know what to say. I screwed up.” Leo shrugs, letting his arms drop at his side.

“What did you screw up? Talk Leo, only that will help you.” She looks at him, still with that worried frown on her face. “Do you want me to call Chris? Do you prefer him, I don’t mind.”

“No, he’s busy, he’s needed somewhere else.” He shakes his head and sits down on one of the chairs that are meant for visitors. Jolena sits down on the other one, laying a hand on his reassuringly.

“I have found my mate, Jo,” he looks down at his feet, his cheeks start to burn.

“Really!” Jolena exclaims surprised, “that is great news! I am so happy for you!” Her smile quickly disappears when she notices that Leo doesn’t look that happy. “What’s wrong?” Her frown appears again.

“She’s a minor and doesn’t feel the mating bond yet. I may or may not have kissed her and scared her away.”

Jolena looks surprised. “I never realised that that could be a problem.”

“I don’t know what to do right now, Jo.” Leo still stares at his feet. “She doesn’t believe me, she even slapped me, twice. When her father hears about this, I am a dead man. I am eight years older than she is and I can’t really prove that she is my mate. I can only tell what I feel.”

“Maybe you could talk to her father before he hears it from someone else? Explain to him the situation?” Jolena suggests.

Leo’s head turns to Jolena and he looks at her with wide eyes. “Do you want me dead?” He shakes his head. “You have no idea who her father is. He can’t know, seriously, he can’t.”

The door of the office suddenly opens, and Chris comes in briskly. When he looks around, he looks a bit surprised. “Oh, hey guys,” he smiles and gives Jolena a quick kiss. “Having a tea party without me?”

Jolena gets up from her chair and gives Leo a consoling pat on his shoulder before she walks to the door. “I am going to see how the kids are doing. I’ll see you tonight, Chris.” She smiles and closes the door after herself.

Chris frowns and looks at Leo questioningly. “What was that about?”

“I’ve got a problem.” Leo looks to the floor again and starts to tell his brother everything. When Leo is done talking, Chris remains quiet for a while, rubbing the light stubble on his chin.

“Hmm,” Chris hums. “I honestly don’t know what to do. I could talk to Patrick for you, but I don’t know if that is a wise thing to do. Your wolf has made it quite difficult for you. Trust me, I know how hard it is to reign in your wolf when it comes to your mate.”

Leo nods and agrees. It’s been six years since Christopher got to know Jolena. He had a hard time in the beginning because he kept missing her every time she was close by. It frustrated his wolf greatly, more than once he tore down a room in frustration. He had never seen his brother as frustrated and out of control as he was back then.

Leo leans forward and buries his face in his head. “What am I going to do?” His words come out muffled because of his hands.

“I think I am going to call Patrick to come over here. I feel like we should talk to him. He needs to hear this from you, from us, before he hears it from someone else and it explodes right in your face.” Chris looks at Leo with a serious look on his face. “Let’s hope we’re not already too late.”

Leo sighs and nods. “Alright, let’s prepare for my downfall here.”

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