Never Ago (Book 1)

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If You Blink

Lily gathered her hair in her hands, twisted it tightly and pulled it up before setting it up in a bun with a pen. She pilled up dirty plates on her tray and delivered them to the kitchen where Sabrina loaded them in the dishwasher.

As expected, the new recipes she has added and the subtle changes proved to be of advantage. The increase in customers was not drastic but it counted as a victory since Kandra and her hard work paid off as well as most of the students appreciated their taste.

Cindy was also there, in a cranky mood, moping the floor in the evening.

With each rolling minute, Lily's stomach churned. Sam's words hadn't left her mind since last night. A decision had to be made yet that decision made her skin crawl.

Shaking her head in pursuit of shaking off the thoughts, Lily sighed and asked Kandra if she could look after the cafe.

"Are you alright, dear?" Kandra inspected her over her glasses. "Of course, I'll do."

Lily shook her head. "I'm fine. Just going out to a party with my friends."

Her eyes trailed to Cindy.

"She'll come around. Don't worry." Kandra reassured.

Lily smiled and joined Cindy by the broom closet. After the incident with her father, she had become a bit sharp and irritated. If Lily didn't feel like invading she probably would have asked about the whole story but she could only offer comfort which Cindy wanted no part of.

"There's a party in the pack," Lily started cautiously. "I'd love it if you join me. It's in honor of the new shifters."

Cindy pursed her lips and gazed up at Lily. The shadows beneath them were prominent. "Sorry. Already have plans."

Lily frowned and followed her to the door. "What plans?"

Cindy pulled opened the door and ceremoniously gestured outside. A man was leaning against his vehicle in the street.

"Oh. Good luck with your date then."

Cindy scoffed, "We don't date. We fuck."

Mouth opened but no words escaped. Cindy waved cheekily at Lily and walked over to the guy. Under the Street lamps, Lily could recognize the guy from the painting crew so her growing concern deflated a few notches. Perhaps it was time to tell Cindy what protective sisters were like.

Right after she dusted a few problems from her shelves.

It took her minutes to reach the house. It was eerily quite when she entered. It reminded her of her room back in the pack. Despite the population in that mansion, it was always peaceful at night. Her heart ached in sweet nostalgia as she dragged herself up to her room.

Make-up was not her norm and white had never exited her wardrobe, which was not much, so getting ready was no dilemma. Slipping into a white spaghetti strapped dress, wearing white wedge heels and applying a little gloss was all it took. The under dress ended right at her knees and the white lace overcoat had long sleeves.

Sam whistled when he greeted her outside. "Hot chick. You should let your hair down more."

Consciously, Lily patted her natural soft curls. "Thank you. You don't look so bad yourself."

Sam flicked her nose. "Always the miser. You could've just said I look sexy."

Lily rolled her eyes and joined him in his car. "I don't want to feed your ego."

"What has my ego ever done to you?" Sam feigned offense.

"Who knows? Magicians and criminals never let their secrets out."

"Hey, innocent til proven guilty. Gimme some credit."

"Sure." Lily beckoned ahead. "Shall we?"

Sam stopped in front of a huge condo. He sensed the question in her eyes before she could voice it.

"Consider it a warrior frat house. With their tough schedules and rough duties, they don't stay at homes most of the time so they share a condo."

Lily slipped out of her seat and hooked her arm with Sam, admiring the exterior. It was at least three floors, with a pool and garden.

"It's amazing."

Sam and quirked his lips and pulled her along to the door. "Glad you like it 'cause your Sam is joining soon."

Lily gazed up at his twinkling eyes. "Here?"

He nodded. "Not here particularly. There are five more places but yeah, I'm going for it. Warrior it is, for me."

"Then I hope and wish it brings you happiness, joy and honor." She hugged her arm warmly.

Sam took his time hugging her and sharing his happiness with the only girl he could consider best friend. They had come a long way even though they had more disagreements than agreements and both were considerably skittish about their feelings.

"Thanks." He mumbled against her hair.

For the first time in a while, her chest felt light.

They parted when a drunk guy stumbled out of the door, releasing a loud blast of music behind him. Sam led Lily inside the increasingly heavy smell of sweat and perfumes and thundering music which drummed their heartbeats. They struggled threading through the screaming, dancing and intoxicated crowd.

Some were playing poker, some ping-pong and others scattered around on couches and chairs.

"Where's Dave?" Lily tried asking over the loud music as they reached a set up bar.

Sam's grip tightened just barely before he let go and climbed a stool. "Why? You don't like my company anymore?" The mirth in his eyes didn't reflect his state.

Lily threw him a stern look. "Really, Sam? I'm only asking because I don't him to feel left out."

"He has other friends."

"But he spends most of his time with us lately. It would come off rude and selfish."

It was Sam's turn to roll his eyes. "He's not twelve anymore."

"Yes, right. You are."

"If you mean hot on the scale from one to ten, yippity yep, I'm twelve." He flexed his arms and rolled his shoulders back. "Any objections?"

"None." A voice came.

Their heads turned to Madaline. She was wearing a baby pink dress which flared out at waist and ended mid thighs.


She had a genuine smile and relaxed postured when she moved in for a hug which Lily accepted.

"Thank you, Lily." Madeline said. "I forgot the other day."

Lily pulled away, slightly puzzled at the change. "No problem at all."

"I'm Madeline," she extended her hand towards Sam. "Nice to finally meet you, Sam. Heard a lot about you."

Sam hesitated before shaking her hand. "Likewise."

He cast a glance towards Lily then shrugged and helped himself with a drink from the bar. All kinds of beverages and drinks were laid out with empty glasses.

"How are things coming along at the cafe?" Madeline asked casually.

Lily noticed her subtle nervousness. "Quite smooth actually. Better days are coming."

"Nice dress."

"Thank you."

"Always white. Or close. You love it too much."

Lily peered down at her dress and tilted the corner of her mouth. "There's something fascinating about white. It lacks and still has a beautiful identity."

Madeline pondered, "That's... a wonderful way to put it. You have a unique way with words."

"It's the thoughts that count."


Sam cleared his throat, grabbed his bear and took a swig. "Need a drink, Lily?"

Her eyes swept over the bottles on the bar. "I... don't know."

"Hey, Sam! You came, you little fox."

Two guys approached Sam and high fived before one of them slung his arm over Sam's shoulder. "Who those chicks?"

"Women." Madeline emphasized.

He raised his arms defensivey. "Oops, my bad."

Sam shook his head in mock disappointment. "They're friends obviously. How much have you had?"

"Not much, dude. The gang is in the living room. Watcha doin' here? Let's go."

Sam shrugged off his arm and grabbed Lily before following the two to a set of couches and chairs. Some girls were seated in the boys' laps drinking and cheering. They were playing spin the bottle.

Sam scooted one of his friends over from a stool and asked Lily to sit.

The environment was a tad bit odd for Lily. The girls were openly grinding, kissing and groping left and right whilst the boys spurred them on and eagerly participated.

"Uhm... I think I'll go check if I can find a drink. Have fun. I'll find you if I need anything."

Sam bit back his protest and turned away when his buddies slapped his shoulder, laughing about something.

Lily wandered around the place for a few minutes, observing the interior decor and some energetic teenagers playing strip poker. Before long, she entered the kitchen. There were only a few stragglers coming in and out for water and cold drinks.

Thank goodness, she thought.

There seemed to be an abundance of alcohol and booze. While werewolves required a lot to get intoxicated, she could hardly handle a glass. It might had something to do with her being alcohol-virgin as Marie often pointed out.

She didn't enjoy losing control either. If she could get through the biggest pains of her life without it, why not simple moments like these.

Grabbing a glass of orange juice, she came across Madeline again. At any normal day, she had her friends around but today her company was missing. Feeling bad about leaving her standing earlier, Lily joined her in front of a large notice board.

"Getting bored?" She asked.

Madeline laughed. "No. Getting used to. Congrats by the way. Looks like you made it." She gestured at the board. "Cole was stuck in a meeting so he had the names pinned."

Lily looked at the many notices on the board but the most recent want was hard to miss. There were 19 names and she found her name in it.

"Seems like it." She took a small sip from her glass.

Madeline smiled at her before it dropped slowly. "Lily, I wanted to apologise."

"You don't have to."

"But it was me w–"

"I know." Lily stopped her. "Doesn't matter anymore. You only shed some light on things that were hidden from me."

Just then, a guy staggered backwards and bumped with Lily. Her body jerked and drink sloshed over. Fortunately, her dress was safe in the process.

"Shit!" The guy cursed. "I'm sorry!"

Madeline gasped and steadied Lily.

"Did the drink–"

"No, I'm safe." Lily explained.

"Come wash your hands and we can get you a drink."

They ventured into the kitchen where Lily rinsed her hands. Madeline picked a flute glass of champagne for herself and another glass of orange juice for Lily whilst a few girls joined them to retrieve Coke. She put the drinks aside on the kitchen bar and searched the cabinets when Lily noticed stains on her shoes.

Luckily, her hand found a roll of paper towels. She handed them over to Lily.

"Try this. Splash some water on it and wipe the stain."

Lily followed her instructions and wiped the stain off. The material used in her wedge heels was not fabric thankfully.

"These assholes, I tell you." Madeline made a noise of disapproval and picked up her drink for a taste.

Lily grabbed the juice and let the cold liquid roll down her throat. "He was drunk."

Madeline stared at her for a good second before squaring her shoulders and sauntering closer to the dance floor. A shirtless guy winked at Madeline and asked her if she wanted to dance. Her cheeks tinted red as she put her hand in his.

Lily took her drink and deposited it on the nearest surface. She drained the rest of the drink quickly to dipose of her glass as well and traveled up the stairs to the second floor.

Her skin heated up a little. Maybe she had been walking too much. The noise on this floor was considerably low as well as the crowd. Some people exited the closed rooms while others entered.

Lily continued her walk down the hallway, goosebumps rising on her skin. She wondered if the buzz under her skin was because of the atmosphere. Her feet took her farther up the second floor to the third where the noise felt distant and her belly heated up like an oven.

Her throat parched, a strange thirst tickling her stomach. With each step, her mind drowned in calmness. Steady bliss spread in her body.

She inhaled deeply and leaned against the window at the end of the hallway overlooking the beautiful scenario outside. Moments blurred and her heat became a need. Her core clenched and pores oozed desire.

A delicious scent filled the air and her ears picked up the strong thuds of boots. With decreasing distance, her pulse quickened. She gulped and rolled around, her body sparking up.

The footsteps stopped in front of her, the scent spilled over her senses. Her hands reached out, trailed down the sculpted face and brought it closer. Her eyes glazed over as her primal lust woke up.

"Kiss me." Zeke whispered, gazing down at Lily.

Her sweat dranched face glistering in the moonlight outside and soft glow from lamps inside looked as carnal as a wolf in heat.

She lazily gripped his neck and peered up at him from her place. She was short but looked pierce. Zeke could have an insight of the lure now. Her eyes threatened to look deep into your souls.

The hesitation flickering in her eyes lulled when his slid up her arm and went to her throat. Her skin was hot as hell. Literally and metaphorically.

It drowned her inhibitions.

Her tippy toes pushed her up until her needy lips and greedy skin rubbed every inch of his. Zeke smirked when she finally tugged him forward.

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