The charged atmosphere between the two mates wasn't lost on either of them. Ezra enjoyed seeing Lily between him and the wall. She was trapped. He swam in the comfort of her presence silently listening to her heart's demanding beats. Meanwhile his own heart drowned out the warning bells in his head.
Out of the blue, his eyes fell on the backpack Sam left.
"Lillian." He called out, his shoulders suddenly tense. "What's going on with you and that boy?"
Lily leaned back and craned her neck to properly look at him. Her eyes narrowed. "If you had bothered asking before barging in on us like a dinosaur, you might had earned an explanation."
Catching him confused, she pushed him away then fetched the bag. Ezra's brows drew closer in annoyance. Why was it so hard to get something out of this woman? When he first met her, she came off like one of those smitten type who'd do anything you ask. The current rebellion streak was both foreign and challenging.
"I'm serious." He grumbled and watched with mild amusement as the heavy bag weighed down half of her body.
"I wasn't laughing." Lily struggled with the bag as she climbed up the stairs.
Ezra shook his head and snatched the bag from her hand and dumped it inside the temple in front of the statue. "Here. Now, what are you doing with that bag?"
Lily gave him a look. "Someone's curious. You ask too many questions."
"And you answer none."
"Some questions don't need answers. It just needs time to serve a purpose."
"I'm not a fan of puzzles." Ezra crossed his bulging arms over his chest and noticed his torn shirt.
Lily crouched by the bag and unzipped it. "It was a simple statement." She pointed out matter-of-factly.
Rummaging in the bag, Lily fished out a woven small bag and a black polo shirt then she dragged the bag to a corner and walked up to Ezra, handing him the shirt.
Fire licked up at his insides as his demons reared their heads. All type of scenarios played in his head as for why would they need a shirt. It took every bit of his patience not to growl at the shirt and begrudgingly snatched it from her hand. Lily fought the smile trying to show up on her face. Ezra was almost wrestling with the shirt when he removed the one he was wearing and then covered up his rippling abs and massive chest with the black polo shirt.
Lily watched with longing as his broad frame stretched the shirt to its limit. As if having a mind of its own, her hand reached out and palmed his strong chest down to the bumps in his abdomen. His muscled biceps were bare in the short sleeves which made her breaths turn shallow. Goddess help her, he was dangerously gorgeous and extremely alluring. The dominant auro he carried washed over her like water.
"You look nice." She blurted out.
Ezra laughed. "Just nice?"
Lily blushed but still managed a straight face. "Yeah, just nice."
"Can I have my answer now?" He pressed.
"The one where you tell me why Lillian disappears with her buddy for a day."
Lily turned in time to hide her grin and adjusted the straps of the woven bag on her arm. "Why don't you find out yourself." She waltzed to the stairs and added, "If you have time, that is. The Alpha seems to be extremely busy lately."
Ezra fell into step behind her, enjoying the way her hips swayed and her butt moved subtly under her long dress. His wolf was yapping at the sight. Pervert. The act didn't make him feel like one though. In his mind, her butt was only his to watch. He'd guage the eyes out of whoever dared to ogle her with a silver spoon. Mine only.
Dad. He blocked out the rest of the links trying to pierce his mind. I need the day off.
Why? His dad instantly replied. Any emergency that I should know of?
None to worry about. I think I need some time to myself. A lot on my mind, you know. Can you handle the pack for me?
Sure. Stay out of trouble. His father warned.
Ezra smirked. No promises.
Then he ate up the distance in two long strides and scooped up Lily who yelped then smacked his chest. "You scared me."
"Good." He smiled. "I'm scary."
Lily snaked her arms around his neck. "And I'm a woman."
Ezra laughed at that and kept his pace slow while trotting to wherever his mate asked him to. They came across the small pond near the temple and headed to the woods in the distance. For once, he allowed his heart to take him where it felt light. His head eased into shadows and he succumbed to the presence of Lily. She made him forget there's a world around them.
The change in feelings was drastic and scary. Deep down, he was dreading losing grasp on reality and his decisions. The more time he spent with her, the more she reigned his control.
"Here." Lily announced once they reached the woods. Willow trees adorned the land as far as one could see. Sun peeked through the cracks of space the willows allowed and birds sang their happy songs in the tranquility of the forest.
The thought of losing track of Lily in the woods stirred his concern. Ezra gripped her forearm after lowering her to her feet.
"Have you learned opening your mind-link yet?"
Lily brushed her dress down as she shook her head. "I thought I'd learm after the training sessions. Not in a hurry."
"I'll show you." He urged.
He nodded, his blue eyes sparkling under the sun. "The faster you learn, the better. Actually, how many times have you shifted after your first shift?"
Lily recalled the few times Cole asked them to jogg in their wolf forms. "Five, give or take..."
Ezra frowned thoughtfully and wandered behind her as she ventured into the woods. She had shifted a few times which meant her wolf was strong enough to shift without causing any type of pain or distress but to make the process easier she had to be in her wolf form.
An idea appealed to him that could kill two birds with one stone. He'd get to enjoy their day and she'd learn a lot from him. Possibly see how strong he is too.
"Lillian." He stopped her, loving how it always made her eyes glow every he said her full name. He wondered if his reaction was as obvious too.
Lily gazed up at him, surprised. "Hunt?"
He shrugged and ruffled his hair, drawing her eyes to it. "It would be fun." He flashed her his dimpled smile and added, "To see you fail."
Lily scoffed and set her bag down by a tree. "Mr. Almighty thinks he's better than everyone."
"Ain't I? I've always been the best at everything, since I was a child. I'm sure you must have heard about it too. If you haven't, don't worry. Just ask, I'll prove it."
Lily pressed her fists to her hips and looked at him in disbelief. "Never knew you have arrogance in you. I mean, I've seen you walk around like you own the place but that's because you literally do."
Ezra chuckled at that. His large hand slid around the back of her neck and pulled her closer. His other hand found her hip.
His greed of her body grew more and more and he didn't bother preventing it. Every time they touched, desire and anticipation crackled under their skins.
Peering deep into her eyes, Ezra deliberately dropped his voice to a seductive growl. "I was born to lead. What do you expect? It's in my blood to conquer, to own, to ravage and to cherish."
Eyes swimming in haze, Lily locked her gaze with his filled with longing and something under the surface she couldn't decipher. Her small sand sank into the depth of his silky smooth hair and brought his head down until their noses touched.
"Then I challenge you." She breathed. "We're going to hunt. If I win, you have to admit that you're not perfect. If you win... I'll do anything you ask."
His eyes flashed like thunder across on a stormy night. "Anything?"
She smiled coyly and kissed the corner of his lips. "Anything."
They uncoiled reluctantly to each prove their points. Ezra quickly shed his shirt, then his pant. Lily gasped and turned away as he sank his thumbs in the sides of his briefs. His lively laughter echoed in the forest like how it echoed in her chest.
"Have some shame." She chastised him with her back to him.
"Sure. After I win, I will. Lots of shame."
She nervously bit her lip and wringed her hands. "Can you... uhm... turn around, please?"
He chuckled. "Sure. Here."
In fear of seeing his naked glory, she didn't turn to confirm he wasn't looking but she hoped, goddess, she hoped he wasn't. She was ready to kiss him to death only in her clothes were. Without a cover, she almost boneless. She'd never let a man see her most intimate parts.
Her hands gingerly untied the knot around her dress and slid the wide boatneck neckline off her shoulders and watched it puddle at her feet. Her heart pounded in her chest at possibility of Ezra seeing her in her plain white bra and panties. She took those off too and hastily hid them inside her dress and flung it to where the bag sat.
"Ready?" Ezra asked. His voice was strained.
Lily gulped and stuttered. "Y–yeah."
"Before we start. What are we hunting? A rabbit? A deer? A stag? A buff—"
Lily didn't give him the chance to object as he dropped on all fours and took off. The last thing her wolf heard was, "A butterf– what?!"