I laughed. “What? You guys… oh my gosh. Isn’t he going to be mad?” They both shrugged their shoulder in an oh well kind of way. “So, you coming?” Nate asked. I laughed and threw off the covers. “Let’s do it.” The sun hadn’t come up yet. It had to be like 5 am. I’m so going back to sleep after this. We went to the 3rd floor where Will was passed out on the rug. The boys weren’t very quiet, I shushed them and softly walked across the room. I made sure to make no sound. I knelt down at his leg, Matt at his other leg and Nate at his head. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing as I ran the razor up his extremely hairy leg.
I had never been part of a prank before. It was a rush and hilarious. Will didn’t stir once. We used the whole can of shaving cream and 5 razors. We cleaned up the mess and went back to our rooms. I was too ramped up to go back to sleep, so I got my work out clothes on and went downstairs. I didn’t know the area, but I remembered the road that lead to the shops and stayed on it. The sun was rising and the air was fresh and cool on my skin. When I got back, no one was awake yet. I showered and began going through my boxes. I put my clothes away and found a book to read. My phone beeped that I got a text.
Hey beautiful, I was just thinking about you. Can’t wait to see you again. Sorry if I woke you up. I smiled at my phone. Derek was thinking of me. I wondered how he got my number. You didn’t wake me. I already went for a run. The twins woke me up. We played a prank on Will. I bit my lip thinking about Derek. He’s so hot! His body is strong and solid. His face is chiseled to perfection with a strong jaw and soft eyes under shapely eyebrows that matched his dark brown hair. His skin is beautifully tanned, I’m sure he could be a male model if he wanted to.
Oh no. Lol. What did you guys do? I laughed thinking about it. We shaved his legs and armpits. My screen immediately lit up. This I’ve got to see. I’m coming over now. I ran to the bathroom to fix my hair. Then went downstairs. Allie was opening the door by the time I got to the bottom. Derek in all his glory was standing there with the light shining on his perfect skin, making it shimmer. My mouth watered. He smiled a perfect smooth smile at me before he walked straight to me. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me.
“You’re here early, Derek. You two have plans I’m assuming.” He pulled back with grunt. “Stop grunting and growling at my family." I smacked at his arm. He smiled. “I cant help it. I just want you all to myself.” He turned to Allie. “We do, but first I want to see Will’s reaction when he wakes up. The twins and Cass shaved him.” Ally laughed. Zeke came down the stairs just then. “What’s going on?” Allie told him. “Well, that’s what he gets for drinking so much. Where is he?”
Allie looked to me. “He was passed out in the game room.” I answered. Zeke got out a pitcher and filled it with ice water. “Come on.” We headed up the stairs. He got Gina and the twins to come along too. We were all standing around Will in anticipation. Zeke dowsed Will from head to toe. He jumped up in surprise and almost fell over in his haste to get away from the water. We were all laughing when he finally realized what was happening. Will stood there dripping like a cat that fell in a bath. Zeke stepped up to him. “Never again.” Is all he said. “Yes sir.” Will answered hanging his head. Zeke turned to go down stairs. Gina stepped up to Will looking up at him. She only reached his sternum. “Clean up the water before you come to breakfast.” Will nodded, “Yes, ma'am.”
We all went downstairs to the kitchen. “Are you two staying for breakfast?” Gina asked me and Derek. We hadn’t made any solid plans so Derek and I decided to stay. We were all sitting around the kitchen table chatting and eating when all of the sudden. “What the hell! Oh, man, you guys suck!” We heard Will from upstairs. We all cracked up!
Matt spoke up. “The only ones that can are family and Alpha." “Luna gets it right most of the time.” Nate added. “Well she is family. And the next Luna." Will said with a shrug of the shoulder. He said it as if it were oh so obvious. “Doesn’t mean you’re forgiven though.” I smiled my appreciation. I really do love these guys. “So what are your plans today?” Gina asked looking at Derek. “Just thought I’d show Cass the territory. I’m on tonight so I’ll have her home before dark.”
“If you get a chance show her to the training center. I’ll be down there later on. Allie needs someone to spar with.” Derek looked at me and raised a brow. “Interesting.” He nodded at Zeke. “We’ll make it over. You ready?” he asked taking my hand. “Yep.” I put my phone in my butt pocket and grabbed my backpack. I didn’t know what to expect. After Gina’s warning, I made sure to have spare clothes. We walked to the house across the street, it figures they would be neighbors. Alpha and Beta, duh. We hopped into his black truck and he drove off. We went the opposite direction from where Allie took me.
The territory was beautiful. Derek pulled over and stepped out. He opened my door for me. “You can leave your bag, we’re just walking.” He lead me through the trees, my hand in his. He asked me the normal get to know you questions. You know; favorite color, music, movies, what do you do for fun, that kind of thing. The trees began to clear and I recognized the lake from our run last night.
He sat on the rocks Alpha sat on the night before. Derek pulled me onto his lap. “This is Battle Lake. It’s the edge of our territory. Can you smell it?” I looked around, the lake was beautiful. I sniffed the air but I didn’t know what it was I was supposed to be smelling. “I don’t smell anything.” He pulled me closer into his body. “There’s a slight difference in smell. Just as every wolf has their own smell, every pack does too.” I sniffed the air again. Noticing the subtle smells. “Its beautiful out here.”
“I’m enjoying the view.” Derek said looking at me. “Okay, getting cheesy on me.” He laughed at that. “Sorry, but its true. I’m lucky to have such a beautiful mate. So how did you become a rogue?” Wow, way to change the subject. I am not ashamed of my past and I had nothing to hide, so I told him about my life. He growled when I told him about Georgina and my foster homes.
“You knew, didn’t you. When you saw my necklace, you knew who I was?” I looked at him, eyebrow raised. “I knew you were a welcomed rogue. I assumed you were the one Zeke has been taking care of. And I knew you were my mate, I felt the pull. That’s why I was standing behind you, both times. I was going to introduce myself.” He stroked my cheek. “My gosh, your eyes are so incredible. I could stare at them all day.” I rolled my eyes. He lifted my chin up to look down on me. “Don’t roll your eyes at me. I mean what I say. You don’t know me very well yet, so I’ll tell you now. I don’t say anything I don’t mean. I do goof around, but I don’t lie.”
I nodded my head and looked down. I felt like a child being scolded, and I didn’t like it. I took a deep breath and regained my courage. I looked him in the eye. “I appreciate you telling me that, but I am not a child, so please don’t talk to me like one.” I stood up and crossed my arms over my chest. “As I mentioned previously, I have been alone my whole life. I have and can take care of myself. I don’t need you or anyone else for that matter. I know when I'm being lied to, and I know the difference between truth and flattery. Flattery gets nowhere with me. I know who I am and I know what I look like.”
“Whoa whoa, calm down, babe. I didn’t mean to upset you.” He pulled my hand out and put his other hand to my cheek, stepping closer to me. “You may know what you look like, and I’m so happy that you know who you are, many people don’t. But I just met you. I want to know everything there is to know about you. I want to know every line and contour of your amazing body and beautiful face, and it is very beautiful. I am enamored by your eyes. I have never seen eyes like yours. I’m not trying to flatter you, I’m complementing. I suggest you get used to it, because they will not stop.” He lightly kissed my lips. “I never meant to talk down to you. You are hardly a child, for that I do apologize. Okay?”
I nodded. He exhaled a breath and rest his forehead to mine. He wrapped his arms around me calming me down. The sun shone on the cool blue water as we sat there silent, just holding and being held by each other. “This is so nice, I've never felt so at peace." I broke the silence. “Hmm, me neither. I never really get a chance to just enjoy the view.” He looked down at his watch, who wears watches now days? “We should probably get going. We’ve been here two hours already.” That was fast.
We hiked back to the truck. He drove us through the little pack town square. “What do you call this place?” He looked to me, “you mean the territory?” I shook my head and waved in the direction of the buildings. “No, the shops and things.” He shrugged his shoulder, “we usually just say where were going, I guess. Like right now were going to the training center.”
He pulled up to the building. It looked like a regular two story building with windows all around. When we entered the building, I was surprised. It didn’t look like a gym. There was a track going around the walls. Within the track there were different training areas. One area had wrestling mats, one had workout equipment. One area had targets and another had climbing ropes and gymnastics apparatus. There were people occupying every section.
Derek lead me to the wrestling mats. Allie was going at it with Dane. Zeke was walking around the mat yelling orders. He was getting angry. “Dane, damn it! Quit holding back. You can’t be afraid to hurt her just cause she’s a girl.” I walked up to him. “Hey, old man. You look like you’re ready to pop a vein.” He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and kissed my head. “Hey baby girl, I’m glad you’re here. Can you get in there and spar with Allie. These guys, they’re pathetic.” Dane and Allie walked up to us, Allie looking upset. She grabbed a drink while Dane went to talk to Derek. “Hey, girl. I’m so glad you’re here. The guys all hold back.” She tossed her water bottle into a pink bag. “Do you need clothes or a warm up?” A warm up would be a good idea. “Let me do a lap or two and we’ll get busy.”
I took off my shirt, causing Derek growl. “Babe.” I raised my eyebrow at him. “Do you expect me to spar in a dress? Believe me, these guys will be watching the match, not my body.” I had on a sports bra and yoga capris, so I was ready to go. “You want to run with me?” Derek took off his shirt and watch, leaving just his basketball shorts. I forgot how to breathe. His chest was solid, I knew from feeling it, but damn. Oh, mama my man is so hot! His pecks were rock solid and his 8 pack abs, yes I said 8, were just as glorious. The V of his hips dipped down deliciously under the waistband of his shorts.
“You ready, Cass?” He put his hand at the small of my back, and lead me to the track. We did two quick laps just to get our blood pumping. Derek and Dane began sparring on a mat nearby. Allie and I got right to work. She was little, but she was strong and fast. Zeke called out directions to both of us, correcting our posture and stances. Allie hit hard, but so did I. We were evenly matched, having the same instructor we had similar styles. Allie took me down, but I escaped. I took her down, but she escaped. It was a challenge sparring with her, but it was really fun.
Allie landed an elbow to my head, which dazed me for a minute, but I stayed standing. I shook my head to clear it. She followed with a left hook, but I blocked and went for a knee to the gut. She took advantage of my stance and tripped me to the ground. I rolled to my feet and blocked as she went for another blow. “Cass, quit playing defense. Get in control.” Zeke yelled to me. I rolled my shoulders and got in to position. Allie jabbed at me. I took hold of her arm and landed a few blows to the side. She broke away by elbowing me in the face. Damn her elbows, I could really learn from her.
After 20 minutes Zeke called it. Allie and I were both breathless and sweaty, but we both had smiles on our faces. Cheering broke out all around us. Derek, Will, Dane, and the twins were at the edge of our mat surrounded by more pack members. “Are they cheering for us?” Allie looked around. “Nope, they’re cheering for you. They already knew I could fight. You’re the first one to give me a challenge. It was a good match. Come on. I’ll show you to the showers.” I nodded and grabbed my bag from Derek, whom was grinning proudly at me.
After cleaning up I met Derek at his truck. “Can we get some lunch, I’m starving?” He opened my door for me and put my bag in. “What are you in the mood for?" My stomach growled. “I could go for some Mexican food, is there anywhere good around here?” Derek smiled. “There is.” He took me back down the road to a restaurant called Tito's. We sat outside at a cute little table under an awning and ordered our food. Derek forgot his wallet in his truck so he went to go get it.
“Hey Derek, have you meet the new rogue girl yet?” I watched as he put his arms around a trashy blonde. My blood boiled and I growled. I actually growled. How dare he touch another girl. “Yeah, I did,” he told her. That’s it? He didn’t bother to tell her he’s mated to me. “Are you coming over later?” I growled again. I could feel my wolf wanting to jump out of my skin. I took deep slow breaths to get myself in control. He closed the door of his truck, giving me a view of who he was talking to. Vanessa. “I can’t today and I’m on tonight. Sorry. I’ll make it over for dinner tomorrow.” I remembered Allie telling me she’s his cousin, so I calmed down a little, but why not tell her about me? She hugged him and left. I followed her with my eyes until she went into a nearby store.
Derek sat back down at the table. I wrinkled my nose at the smell of Vanessa’s perfume. It smells like old lady and cotton candy, gross. “You smell nasty.” Derek looked up at me with a cocked eyebrow. “Yeah, I ran into my cousin. She gets carried away with her perfume. I want to surprise her and my auntie, they don’t know about you yet. I was hoping you could meet them tomorrow night. Tuesdays I usually go over there for dinner. You want to come?”
Why does he have to be so perfect? I’m a surprise, huh. That would be why he didn’t say anything. “I guess we can do that. But I should tell you I’ve already met Vanessa. She and her friend were trying to give Allie shit yesterday.” He chuckled. “That was probably Priscilla. Yeah, they don’t see eye to eye. Vanessa dated Will, but they broke up. And I know she hates Priscilla. I bet Allie had everything under control though.” I laughed into my drink. You have no idea. “Are you and Vanessa close?”
Derek put his drink down and cleared his throat. “Yeah. My aunt Monica is my moms sister. Her mate…” Derek’s face contorted into a scowl. He shook his head. I reached out to hold his hand. His eyes softened before he continued. “I’m sorry babe. Her mate marked her and mated her, then rejected her. She came to our pack to tell my mom goodbye. She was going to kill herself, but my dad stopped her. He could tell that she was pregnant. She didn’t know yet, it’s an alpha thing, he can tell within a week. When he told her, it gave her a new purpose.”
I didn’t know what to say. I’m not accustomed to werewolf ways, so I didn’t quite understand what he told me. But killing yourself, that’s a big deal no matter where you are. “Wow, I... I’m happy your aunt didn’t harm herself.” Derek smiled at me. “You don’t understand, let me explain. If a werewolf is rejected, they are forever alone. Very rarely if two werewolves are no longer mated, they can form a bond with a second person. It’s not the same, but it can happen. Again, very rarely. When mated mates are separated, usually by death, they both die. The other is too heartbroken to continue living.”
I was astonished by what Derek told me. He bore his eyes into mine, his hand still intertwined with mine. “What he did to her was worse than death.” My gosh. “What happened to him? Wouldn’t that cause him pain too?” Derek shook his head. He rejected her, it caused him no pain. He had a girlfriend that he decided to bond with before he met her. He never should’ve mated her, but as you know, the bond is strong. Father ended him for his cowardice and dishonor. You don’t do that to a person.” He shook his head. He was clearly disgusted. A waiter came to our table for our order and left some chips and salsa.
“Vanessa and I were raised together,” he continued when the waiter left. “We’re not as close as we used to be. She’s 5 years younger than me, but yeah, we’re close.” I nodded. He reached out both hands, trapping mine. He looked me square in the eye, “I will never reject you. I promise. I will never leave you. You are too important to me. You’re everything to me.” I swallowed the lump that formed in my throat. I tried to blink back the single tear that escaped my eye. Derek’s thumb caressed my cheek, wiping away the tear. I felt the weight of his words and knew, without a doubt, he meant every one of them.
Our food was brought to us, breaking the tension. I tore into it. It was amazingly delicious. Derek continued speaking after a few bites. “You held up very well against Allie today. I was thoroughly impressed. You’re the first one.” I tilt my head in confusion. “First what?” Derek smiled a proud look in his eyes. “Allie is the best and strongest female in the pack. Until now. She usually trains with the enforcers.” He was lost in thought for a quick minute before he spoke again. “For some reason Dane holds back with her. Normally he wouldn't hesitate, female or not.”
I cleared my throat and took a drink. Derek raised an eyebrow up at me, “you know something.” It wasn’t a question. I nodded. “Well, I have a theory.” He nodded for me to continue. “They’re mates. Dane already knows. Allie said she already knows who her mate is, but she hasn’t said anything else. I think she wants to get her wolf first, know for sure.” I could see he was putting the pieces together. “I think you’re right,” he nodded. “How did I miss that,” he said more to himself. We finished up our meal and Derek left a nice tip. Good man.