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Well, that was the most painful thing I have ever had to endure. But the effects of the antidote worked quickly. I wasn’t in that much pain anymore.

Doctor Reeves apologised profusely for not picking up on the Hemlock. Although he couldn’t help it, Hemlock isn’t detected until a few hours after.

I managed to keep complete control too; well, with a little help from Rhydian.

A lot of help.′ Aurora huffed.

I rolled my eyes and snuggled further into my blanket. Everyone left so I could get some rest. Well, everyone but Rhydian, he’s downstairs in case I need him. Much to my reluctance, he wouldn’t take no for an answer.

But I secretly like that he’s still here... I think. Either that or Aurora is projecting her feelings onto me. We may be one soul but we definitely have two minds. I’m still not sure if I completely trust him whereas Aurora wants to roll over and let him have his way.

Damn right I do. I want to meet my other half. I want his wolf.′ Aurora quipped.

I blocked her off for a bit, I needed some sleep before my dad’s funeral. I’m not ready to say goodbye yet.

I sighed and closed my eyes. I want a peaceful sleep, no unnecessary nightmares...

“Amaris.” Someone gently stroked my cheek, trying to wake me up. I jumped up, gripping their throat and pulling them down. I twisted my body, pushing them down on my bed. I straddled their waist and growled.

“Woah, calm down. It’s only me.” Rhydian spluttered. I loosened my grip before slapping my hand over my mouth. He rubbed at his neck and smirked. “At least I know you can handle yourself.”

“Don’t sneak up on me.” I rolled my eyes as I swatted his chest.

“I was just trying to wake you up. Glad to see you’re feeling better.” He chuckled.

I rolled my eyes again at him then stretched, arching my back and groaning. His eyes turned black and I raised a brow at him.

Unsure of why his wolf was coming forward, I scanned the room looking for any threat. I don’t understand, I glanced back at him and frowned.

“Um... You need...” He hesitated “I need you to move.”

Oh my god! I jumped off him and ran into the bathroom, slamming the door. I leaned back and sighed. His wolf came forward because I was sat on him. I’m so fucking embarrassed.

Did you feel how big his-′ Aurora purred.

No, no, no shut up.′ I fumed.

“Amaris, are you ok?” Rhydian asked, through the door. I opened the door and faced him. “I’m fine, don’t worry,” I replied with a smile.

“Well, I need to go and get ready. Will you be ok?” He nervously questioned. I nodded my head and ushered him out of my room. “Wait, don’t get your bandage.” He blurted out, spinning around to face me.

“I won’t.” I rolled my eyes. He flashed a captivating smile towards me that went straight to my core. The thoughts running through my head right now are making me feel slightly dizzy.

I let my eyes wander down his body. His shirt was fitted to him, his muscles bulging against the fabric. I lowered my eyes, taking in every detail of him. I could vaguely see his abs pushing against his shirt. What I wouldn’t give to run my tongue alo-

“I’m... I’m going... to,” He coughed, ” I’m going to go.” He rushed before he turned and ran out.

What just happened?

Girl, you’re aroused.′ Aurora chimed.

I am not.′ I fired back.

I get all hot and bothered looking at him too.′ She growled playfully.

I rolled my eyes and went back into the room. I need to get ready for the funeral. I went into the bathroom, if I can’t get the bandage wet, I’ll have to have a quick wash in the sink.

I finished washing, wrapped a towel around myself and went back into the bedroom. I went over to the vanity table and sat down. I glanced at myself in the mirror.

A tap on the door startled me, I spun my head as the door opened. Ria peered around the corner. “Need any help?” She asked, shyly. I nodded and signalled her to come in.

She came over quickly and stood behind me, placing her hands on my shoulders. “I’m so sorry I wasn’t here.” She muttered, looking at me through the mirror.

“Hey, it’s ok.” I reassured, reaching up and touching her hand. “I was with Drew visiting his sister, she’s just given birth.” She beamed.

“That’s amazing!” I replied excitedly. “So, can I do your hair?” She squeezed my shoulders. I nodded my head and gave her a small smile.

She started gathering all my hair and brushing a comb through it. “How do you want it?” She asked.

“In a ponytail is fine,” I answered. “I have to say a eulogy at the funeral,” I whispered. “But I don’t know what to say,” I added.

“Just speak from your heart, babe.” She said as she pulled my hair into a ponytail.

“Hmm,” I replied. She gazed at me then frowned. “There’s something else bothering you.” She stated, spinning me round to face her. She kneeled in front of me, taking hold of my hands.

Ria could always tell when something was wrong and she pushes until I talk. Some might think that isn't good but I love her for it. If I keep things bottled up, eventually I burst and that's no good for me... and others.

“I wish I had come back sooner,” I whispered, staring down at our hands. “I wish I spoke to him more.” I sniffled.

“Hey, he knew why you had to go. He loved you, Amaris.” She asserted, trying to gain eye contact with me. “I miss him so much.” I whimpered.

She wrapped her arms around me and pulled me closer to her. She didn’t say anything, she just cradled me against her chest. I cried until I was silently sobbing.

Rhydian came crashing through the door, “Amaris!” He called out, his voice laced of worry. I pulled away from Ria, wiped my eyes then glanced at him. “What?” I shrugged.

“Are you ok?” He furrowed his brows, scanning the room. I stood up and went over to him. “I’m fine.” I raised my brow at him and he looked at me funny.

“I felt your sadness and anxiety. I just wanted to make sure you were ok.” He muttered.

He felt my sadness? I thought the only time you could feel your mate was when you were mated and the bond is in full effect.

See... he’s our mate.′ Aurora playfully said in a sing-song.

“No, I’m fine,” I reassured. “But I do need to get dressed.” I chuckled.

“I’ll wait downstairs for you.” He smiled and nodded then went downstairs.

I turned around to face Ria and she had her hands on her hips, giving me a look to say ′We will be talking later.

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