Never Ago (Book 1)

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You And You

Lily tightened her grip on the innocent fabric of his collar and proceeded burning Ezra with her angry eyes. "I thought I'd never hate you. You're starting to prove me wrong."

Ezra pursed his lips and inhaled deeply through his nose. His legs took him to his car. Opening the passenger seat, he carefully placed Lily there. His hand stopped her from sliding out.

"You're showing your true colors." Lily accused him bitterly. Her eyes followed him squat down at her feet by the door.

Something flickered in those blues as he caught her foot and pushed it back into the car.

"Believe me, if I started showing my true colors you'll never want to see colors again."

With a loud slam, the door shut. Before she could think otherwise, Ezra jumped into the driver's seat and ignited the engine.

"I don't need your help and I don't want to be here. Are you dear?" Lily threw as her hand tugged on the locked door.

"What you had is what you are. What you wanted is what you never had. What you will have is what's meant for you." Ezra pulled out of the lot and sped off.

The determined current she felt coming off him was too strong to oppose. His knuckles turned white gripping to the steering wheel. Soon her senses picked up on the scent in the closed space. Her wolf stirred in her head, sprawling and growling, needy and hurt.

Frustrated, Lily turned towards the window and curled up. Her injuries buzzed with a bittersweet ache. They were healing faster than normal. Which was understandable considering the presence of mates do that but she hated it. It butchered the existence of her independence.

"I want to see Sam."

"You will."

Lily curled up more. The silence in the car soon prickled her skin. Her eyes didn't move from the passing buildings. Tension rose to the point where she could feel it on her fingertips like cotton balls.

Then, he spoke up. His tone soft but his words sharp. It struck the strings in her heart how she couldn't bear him near because it always affected her for the better or worse.

"I'm doing this for you."

Her lip rolled into her mouth, traped under her teeth.

You.

"Give up your pride for once and see. Stop pushing me away. I'll change your mind about me."

Lily concentrated on his vague reflection in the window. "And if I don't want to?"

A pause.

"You have to."

With an emotionless chuckle, Lily rubbed her forehead to ease the growing headache.

"That's your problem. None of this is for anyone. Not even me. It's just you. You fooled me because you felt like it. You played with my feelings because you wanted to. Then for some reason, when I accepted your plans you backtracked. Now you want to reverse things because you want it. You're chasing me to become a mindless mate because you wish so. It's all you, you and you and you."

No response came from his side. Lily gazed at his ticking jaw and murderous eyes focused on the road over her shoulder and exhaled.

"You once told me you're not used to losing things. Whatever you desired, always became yours." Lily slid her legs off the seat. "This time is no different. I'm that thing you're losing and your mind won't accept it. As far as I can see, you'd rather have me dead than free."

Ezra slammed his foot down on the break, sending everything jolting forward. The vehicle screeched and halted in front of Lily's resident. Dust and smoke flew, clashing with scorching heat and thundering storm inside Ezra.

Strong arms shot out, grabbed the sides of her face and yanked her closer until their breaths became one. He peered down at her startled doe eyes. They both panted as she hung onto him by his heaving shoulders.

"I don't know what this is nor am I planning to put a label on it," his short pants ignited a fire under her skin. "All I know is you can't leave me. You have two options. Take me with you or take my life with you."

His fingers moved to her scalp and took a hold of her hair forcefully. Her scalp stung but her unforgiving eyes didn't flinch.

"I'd rather have both of us dead than separate."

The darkness swirling around him seeped through her barriers and drew out her longing. A haze swept over her fluttering her stomach. Deep down she still had a place for him even if it was locked away with silver and chains.

Her drunk eyes flickered and slid down his alluring eyes to his high cheekbones and inviting lips. Images flashed in her mind, images that stirred her desire and pooled heat in her belly.

Before she could have drowned in him, something in her snapped. She flicked his hands away from her hair and fled out of the car.

Storming inside the house, Lily reached her bathroom and flashed her face with cold water until her temperature cooled down and the haze lifted from her eyes. Panting, she stood in front of the mirror staring at her reflection for goddess knows how long.

A knock at her door dragged her to reality.

Sam stood perplexed outside her room when she pulled the door open. His cautious gaze searched her for clues.

"Are you alright?"

He stepped in after her, waiting for her response. Lily dropped her head on his chest and let out a shaky breath.

"I don't know anymore."

It took a long reluctant pause before Sam wrapped his arms around her and rubbed her back slowly.

"How did you know I'm here?" Lily rasped, her throat feeling raw.

"I heard someone say you passed out on the road and some guy carried you here so I had to check up on you."

"No, that's not true. I didn't pass out."

"I can smell someone on you though."

"He dropped me off."

Silence.

The kind of peaceful silence she needed.

Lily gulped. "I'm sorry."

Sam took a hold of her shoulders and pushed her away slightly to gaze at her fallen face. "I'm still mad at you. Sorry won't do this time. You're stupid, you know that right?"

Lily nodded with pursed lips and took a seat on the edge of her bed. "He rejected me because I couldn't match his standards. I thought if I proved in front of the pack that we're still not compatible, he'd let go."

Sam mirrored her action. "I don't think that's going to work anymore."

Lily peeked up at him. "I need space to breathe, Sam. He's everywhere. I can't find a stable ground because of him and he's hell-bent on messing up my head."

"To be honest, Lily," Sam scooted closer. He was threading his words very consciously. "You're leading him on."

Lily whipped her head up. "What?"

Sam rushed, "Think about it. You're holding on to the other end of the bond. If you don't have the tiniest bit intention of patching up then set him free. If you do then give him a fair chance. Not just him, anyone would think you're willingly stalling the rejection."

Lily took in a sharp breath, her head spinning. Dragging her body up, she leaned against the window by her bed and buried her head in her knees.

"You're right." She whispered. "I'm the culprit."

"That's not what I–"

She looked up. "I know, Sam." She combed her hair back. "It's not wise dwelling in the dark when I clearly see two doors."

"What's it gonna be?"

Lily stole her gaze away. "It hurts to answer."

For her, he was addiction. Going cold turkey was extremely hard and her small doses had to cut short. What he broke couldn't he repaired. Her trust was shattered and her heart was too naive to realize the selfishness behind his actions.

"I should get going." Sam stood up and dug his hands into his pockets. "Don't do anything stupid again."

"I won't." She promised. "I'm sorry and I owe you big time."

Sam scrunched his nose. "I always do."

"Treat at the cafe tomorrow?"

"I'm bringing my friends."

"Deal."



"Here you go." Lily placed the tray on the table. "Chocolate centered cupcakes, donuts, vanilla cake slices and buns."

"You're awesome." Sam's friends snatched the plates away eagerly.

Sam laughed and sipped his coffee. "I called it. You're gonna like it."

His three friends moaned in agreement.

"The best cupcakes I had in a while." One of the guys mumbled after taking a bite of his cupcake.

"I need a dozen more of these." Another one waved an iced donut.

"Congratulations, by the way." The one sitting beside Sam nodded politely at Lily. "I heard Cole is going to announce the winners tonight at the party and you're in it."

Lily shared an incredulous look with Sam. "I didn't perform well in case you weren't there."

"I was." He replied. "And a some of the guys objected but Cole said it was because you were feeling off and he had seen your sessions so he can make that decision."

"That's..." Sam drawled.

"Unfair." Lily finished.

The guys shrugged. "Why don't you come along and see what goes down there?"

Sam put his mug down. "They throw a party for each batch of new shifters after the results are announced."

Lily eyed him intently. "Nice."

Sam slid out of his chair and guided her away from the table. "The royal investigators are coming to the pack today so the Alpha is going to be busy. You needed a break, yeah? I'm going, come with me. It's going to be fun."

Lily drummed her thumb against the tray. "I have a bad feeling about this."

"Because you never get out of your bubble. What's the worse that can happen?"

"Sam–"

"Lily."

Lily gave up. "Alright. I need to know if Cole really intends to go against his rules anyway. Pick me up after work."


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