Never Ago (Book 1)

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Perhaps I See

Zeke might as well been ghost pepper. His ears were red, eyes burning and jaw taught. He was seconds away from erupting like a valcano. His love, his baby, his pride and joy was violated, bruised, abused and damaged. His knees nearly buckled when his eyes fell on his precious possession.

His car.

A nasty white paint was splattered on it, scorching it's red hot paint with ugliness. But that was not all. All the four tires were sliced and the hood was viciously scratched to form the word "Cissy".

Zeke almost lost it. Ripping out his heart might have heart less. Not his car!

Throwing a fit when his jackass soon to be Alpha was already throwing his wasn't a bright idea. Like an injured puppy, he left it in the doorway and stormed to his house. Whoever did it was going to pay mightily. He was going to make sure of it personally.

Lily was getting tired of forcing her cheeks to spread and allow her lips to form a smile. Some of the staff at the packhouse visited her to ask how she was. She was the only one who often checked on the other girls working with her when they were sick. It was nice to see someone cared enough to check on her.

The bruise had almost faded. If you looked at it closely, it was there but if you're not paying attention then it's almost healed. The doctor told her she recently shifted which meant her wolf was in her prime that's why it healed faster. Although the bruise caused her no pain, there was wound that hurt. And it wasn't inflicted on her yet.

She walked up to her group in the gym. Cole looked at her like hawk when she entered. Like usual, she ran her laps first the practiced dogded. Her eyes, without her acord, kept flickering from corner to corner in search of that one person she didn't to confront just yet.

"Lily." Cole addressed her curtly.

They had recently begun the basic training of hand to hand combat. Although Lily wasn't a badass at it, she wasn't bad either.

"Sir." She stood straight and returned his scrutiny.

"How are you feeling?"

The question felt odd coming from him. "I believe there were no instructions involved in our manual to follow when our trainer asks personal questions."

Cole crossed his arms. His height was almost twice as hers yet the girl didn't even stutter. He wasn't impressed but he had to admit Lily stood her groud when she wanted to.

"I was making sure you won't pass out next time anything hits you." He taunted.

The brown innocent eyes flared up. "Your concern is as appreciated as much as a used tissue." Then she took a deep breathe. "And there won't be a next time."

"Confidence?" Cole raised a brow. "Or surity? You don't seem capable of either."

"Speaking from personal experience I see."

His jaw hardened. "I wouldn't be your trainer if I wasn't."

Lily walked around with a sleeping heartache and now she was beginning to feel the arrival of headache too. "If it wasn't a formality, I wouldn't have known you exist. Anyway, why are we having this conversation, sir?"

Cole couldn't help but give her credit for having a backbone. On the outside, she preferred being a wallflower. On the inside though, she was a mystery.

His face turned serious, his green eyes softening half a quarter. "As a teacher, it's my duty to guide my students. I may not seem like it, I've heard, but I take my responsibility seriously. Keep your eyes open. Observe before you act. And when you act, make sure you don't leave a chance of reaction."

Lily nodded. She figured she had been distracted lately and Cole was asking her to be more attentive. It was bittersweet. From a jerk to a teacher. It was true though. Cole was always concerned about how his students performed.

"I'll do my best and try not to disappoint you."

Zeke was scowling from where he stood near Gabe at the podium in the gym. They just about defeated the warriors in a training combat. Sweat trickled down their glistening chests. Lily was the victim of his fury. He had threw the silly bitch off her tiny feet and was sure she had a hand in what happened to his car. His eyes bitterly followed Lily walking away from Cole.

That stupid bulk of a man was acting strange lately. But who was Zeke kidding. Madaline and Ezra, although they made up after the rogue attack incident, were acting strange too. A lot was changing or maybe it was just his suspicion but he was more concerned about his car than anyone else.

Ezra flat out refused to order an investigation on who damaged his car. That was blatant dismissal of his request. Fuck 'em. He thought. I'll find out one way or another.

"Dude, don't even try." Gabe warned his as he toweled the sweat off him. "You do it again and you make yourself a bully. Let's not forget that Ezra won't tolerate bullying, mate or not."

"Who gives a rat's ass?" Zeke tilted his water bottle over his face and washed it. "What he's doing is the same thing. Besides, the didn't so much as move when it happened."

Gabe looked at him like he was stupid. Which he was. "He's trying to shove you into that Beta position you've been desperately begging for like a bitch. Don't fuck it up for yourself."

That made his halt before he plopped down on a long metal bench by the wall. "I'm not going to follow her around like a dog. Just one more time, for my baby. Even if it pissed someone off, I'll get off with a warning."

Gabe shrugged. "Sounds reasonable. What do you have in mind?"

Zeke smirked. "A bowling ball."

Sam dropped Lily off at the packhouse and went home to his parents. It was a long day. Learning new stances and stretching your bones wasn't as easy as she initially thought. She had sweet ache in every joint of her body. Her muscles felt sore. She took a quick shower then made dinner with the help of the cooks. Some of the children followed her around like puppies. She was like a nanny to them. She'd sneak them cookies and chocolates, even read them stories.

One of those kids was Joey. He was a smart and rebellious kid. Often his mother left him with her to stay the night. She was a nurse and had nightshifts at the hospital which left her cautious about leaving Joey alone at home or with a babysitter. Lily was more than willing to help her out.

After dinner when the maids delivered the dirty dishes to kitchen, she convinced the maids she'd clean it. She had a lot on her mind and she needed a distraction so they reluctantly agreed.

"Help me up!" Joey jumped up and down on his five year old feet.

Lily smiled broadly and helped him sit on the opposite counter edge. She gave him biscuits to munch on. His doe eyes followed her around while he kicked his feet. He titled his head at the way she dragged her sleeves up to her elbows where it bunched.

"Can I sleep with you tonight?" He asked, shoving another biscuit into his mouth. "Ah wam to, pease." His voice came out muffle with his stuffed mouth.

Lily mock glared at him. "Don't talk when you're eating biscuits."

Joey pouted. "Why?"

"The crumbs sometime decides to travel down my windpipe when I talk." Her delicate hands wet a sponge, made foam of soap and started scrubbing plates.

"That's because you're old." Joey giggled.

Lily laughed then stopped when that familiar maddening scent hit her. Her heart went ballistic in her chest when the loud thudding of his boots stopped in the kitchen. Her greedy wolf forced her to breathe more of his presence. It was smoothing. Like a hot blanket in winter.

"Alpha!" Joey explained. The kid loved him like a superhero. "I'm eating cookies!" He gushes.

Lily resumed her task in silence, her back to them. As much as she wanted to run into his arms, a part of her held her back.

Ezra walked up to Joey slowly then ruffled his hair. "Hey, buddy. How's school?"

Joey jumped into a long excited story about the toys in the playground as Ezra's eyes drifted to his source of turmoil. He had hoped she'd acknowledge his existence which was pretty pathetic because usually he was a magnet. The only sign of knowing she knew he was there was her tense shoulders. Her braid rested on her back, her sharp smooth shoulders exposed under the light. A yearning grew in his chest the longer he stared.

His mind conjured up a storm of images. His rough big hands pressing into her soft small shoulders, slowly gliding down, feeling every inch of her. He could almost feel the heat of pressing up behind her butt and sinking his teeth in her flesh until she writhed under his chest.

Fuck, he groaned in his chest. He was instantly hard and they haven't even spoken. Sure it was the lust talking. Even Madaline took seconds before pulling that reaction out of him.

"—and then Bobbie made bucket towers in the sand but I told her—"

Ezra realized, as he leaned against the counter, that his Lily was either upset or pissed. It was a surprise for him. The way she spoke and treated him, he'd think she would at least have turned and given him one of those shy smiles. As hard as it was, he controlled the urge to turn her around.

Deep down, even if he refused to acknowledge it, he was actually hoping to see her giggle or smile or roll her eyes even. He didn't believe in cute. Only hot and sexy. But she was something.

Lily was struggling with keeping her thoughts straight. Three days, she hadn't seen him. But it felt like so long. Her heart stuttered with excitement, beat with glee because he was finally there but it also throbbed. He was busy for sure, too busy to even give her a reassuring smile every time she passed by.

He didn't even glance my way!

The dishes faced her assault. She scrubbed like a madman halfway through because she wanted to get out of there before she lost her mind.

Joey offered his cookies to Ezra who took one and bit the inside of his cheek when Lily went from calm to aggressive.

She's rough. A thought sent electric sparks down his chest to his groin. He could almost feel her aggressive hands trying to scratch every inch of her skin while he feasted on her.

Far too soon for his liking, she was done. And then she turned around. There was a ghost of a bruise on her cheek which ruffled his feathers just a little. Then he tried controlling his rage thinking of what he did to that asshole's car.

"Let's go, Joey?" Lily asked the little bundle of joy.

Joey whined. "Can't we stay? I have to finish my story."

Lily stood a safe distance from the two and avoided looking at her mate. "Maybe next time. You have to sleep."

Joey sighed dramatically then gazed at Ezra who smiled down at him. "Sorry, champ."

Joey nodded then hopped off the counter. His tiny hand curled around Lily's two fingers. "Fine." He grumbled. "But I won't sleep without a story."

Ezra felt a shot of disappointment stab him. It made him feel... bitter. She wouldn't even look his way while he standed there like an idiot.

"Lily!" He stopped her before she could exit. "I'd like to talk."

Again, she looked over her shoulder but not particularly at him. "Sorry, Alpha. I'm busy and tired at the moment."

His jaw went slack. How dare she! All the lovey dovey shit she spewed and refused to talk when he finally she showed up. He was angry, disappointed, surprised and aroused at the same time.

Alpha, she said. As if the word was a taunted. Jaw clenched, Ezra stomped out of the kitchen and went up to his office. If she wanted to play hard to get, she could forget it.

Then he paused at the door. Hard to get. There was no getting. Just ending. The realization burned his chest.

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