Never Ago (Book 1)

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A Delicious Surprise

The car stopped in front of the double doors of the packhouse. Lily played with her fingers for a while, trying to come up with something to say.

"If I came in and discovered you weren't resting, Lillian, I'm going to be mad." Ezra warned, leaning against the window with his elbow propped on the steering wheel.

Lily bit her lip to stop the goofy smile from spreading her cheeks.

Lillian.

Her heart jumped in her chest. She couldn't believe how enticing her name sounded rolling of his tongue like that. She tucked her hair behind her ear and nodded. Her eyes stole glances of her hunky mate in all his dangerously addicting glory. His maroon shirt clung to his bulging muscles like a second skin. She could see his broad shoulders move every time he shifted. She had a river of warmth pooling in her belly for the times she had an eyeful of him.

She felt attracted beyond belief to her mate. My forever after.

Ezra bit his thumb and squinted his eyes, the intensity of his gaze on her had a direct effect on her cheeks. Lily chastised herself in her head. She wasn't a shy girl, she knew but right then she felt like a school girl with her crush.

"Lillian."

She peered up at his blue eyes. "I know. I'm going to rest. When can I see you?"

Ezra chuckled, the voice struck her heart strings. He leaned toward Lily and stopped short when he was an inch away from her face. His eyes drifted to her supple lips then back up to her awaiting eyes. He could feel the longing in her body. "Eager to meet me?"

Lily tried not to moan. His scent was everywhere in his car, on top of that was his hot minty breath teasing the stray strands on her face. He was intoxication personified. She breathed shakily and nodded, never taking her eyes off of his face. His defined cheekbones and sharp jawline tempted her to touch him.

"I have waited four years for you. I think my patience is wearing thin." She teased, not backing away from his approach. He had to admit she wasn't as shy as he predicted.

His hand move to her neck, his fingers playing with the hair on her nape. "Let's have dinner together, how about that?"

Lily thanked the moon goddess she didn't squeal in that moment. "At the packhouse?"

He made a face. "Somewhere else. You choose. How about a restaurant? A diner maybe?"

Lily thought about it, "Can we go to a temple?"

The fingers on her nape stopped. She suddenly felt like taking her words back because the simple action was very relaxing, and the tingles everywhere he touched. She couldn't wait start her life with him like how she dreamed about it.

"A temple?" He sounded amused, "Trying to sacrifice me?"

Lily giggled, "No, I just like that place. Nobody really visits that temple anymore and I go there regularly. We don't have to, I just thought..."

"Okay. Temple it is. I love picnics." Ezra shifted and settled in his seat.

"I'll cook," Lily offered eagerly. "All your favorites."

"All my favorites?" Ezra raised his brow, "Do you even know about my diet?"

Lily smiled proudly at that. "I cook at the packhouse. It's been four years. I know what you like, junior alpha."

Ezra laughed boyishly at that and scratch his forehead with his thumb. "Alright, junior cook, surprise me. I'll come pick you up at nine. But until then, you have to rest half a day."

Before Lily could protest, he added. "Don't worry about your class and I linked Rosey"-the head caretaker of the packhouse-"earlier to take care of you as instructed. So, there's absolutely nothing you can do right now."

Lily smiled. It was one of those smiles that reflects the happiness blossoming inside you. Her heart swelled looking at Ezra. He cared for her. That's all she needed to feel whole again and this was just the first day.

"See you." She waved at him after getting out of the car. She hesitated before adding, "Ezra."

He smiled, winked at her and drove off. Her drumming heart made her giddy. His laugh, his eyes, his black hair, his bold personality, his anger, every part of him was perfect. She knew there was a reason she often felt drawn to Ezra. At first she thought it was natural attraction of a woman to a man but now she knows what it was. Her soul recognized him as a part of her.

"Lily. Let's tuck you into bed." The woman behind her announced.

Rosey was a strict elderly woman, extremely disciplinary and forward with her orders. That's why Lily didn't protest when she was led to her room and fed in bed. It was odd. The uncomfortable kind of odd. She wasn't fond of someone doing her work. But she made peace with it for the sake of dimpled smile.

Day rolled into night slowly. Marie checked up on Lily and commented on how she smelt odd. Instead of telling her about her mate, Lily kept her promise and told her it was because of the ride Ezra offered when she wasn't feeling well. All her loyalty lied where her heart was now.

Rosey finally gave her the permission to slip out of the room. Lily happily helped with preparing dinner for the families in the packhouse. Most of the members of her pack had their own homes but the packhouse was like a shelter, emergency center or just a place for the kids to safely spend time with their friends when the parents were busy.

For Lily, it wasn't hard. She cooked, grilled, baked everything she remembered Ezra enjoyed eating. When Marie asked her to join her at dinner, she made the excuse that she had already eaten because she had to take her medicine.

Nobody noticed Lily packing up the surprises she packed for Ezra. She was the last one to leave the kitchen. In her room, she was literally shaking with the excitement she was feeling. In her mind, she didn't need to change herself. Ezra was the only important person in her life and she wanted to be herself with her mate.

So she braided her brown hair, pulled out a few strands. Applied lip gloss and slipped into a cream off shoulder gown. How would they sneak out without looking suspicious, she had no clue but she was willing to be wreckless with Ezra.

Happiness bubbling in her heaving chest, Lily snuck through the halls and slipped out to the patio at the back of the house. Then she waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

When the clock struck twelve, the butterflies in her stomach dropped dead. She knew he must have had something important to do. The trouble was trying to convince her heart too. By the time she had her medicine, her limbs felt lifeless and her heart numb.

"It's okay," she whispered, eyes staring at the wall of her room in the darkness where she struggled to sleep. "He was probably very busy. I hope he ate well. You should be more understanding than that, Lily. He must have forgotten to inform you. You're overthinking."

But the thing was, mates never leave your mind. Or do they?
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