C H A P T E R T H I R T E E N
Oh. My. God. I literally cannot handle this. I cannot believe Ryker just said he wants to be with me! I am completely taken by surprise at his declaration. My mate wants me. He actually wants me!
I hear Ryker continue, “I do not think me meeting your sister was a coincidence either.”
I turn back towards him. Searching his eyes. Confusion evident in my voice. “Why is that?”
“Did she ever tell you how we met?” Ryker asks me and I shake my head no. She actually never did tell me how they met, which is somewhat strange now that I think about it.
“I had actually just dropped my beta, Carter, off at the airport. When I was about to get back in my car, out walked Chloe from the arrival flights doors. I was instantly drawn to her. I had never experienced that before. Especially with a human. I did not understand the sudden attraction, the pull that was causing me to move towards her before I could stop myself. I knew she was human and that she was not my mate, but I also knew I could not just let her walk out of my life as soon as she walked into it. There was just something about her. I could not let her slip away from me. So I walked over to her and introduced myself. We started talking regularly from that point on. Talking progressed into us hanging out, and eventually we started dating. Looking back at it now that I have met you, I know exactly what it was that drew me to her.”
I tilt my head slightly to the side, patiently waiting to hear his explanation.
“It was you. I has always been you.”
I let out a breath I did not know I was holding and cock my head further to the side furrowing my eyebrows. “How so?” I question him.
“Because now that I met you, I realize it was your scent on her that drew me to her.”
Wow, I was not expecting that, but it does kind of makes sense. I had hugged her for what felt like minutes when my parents and I dropped her off at the airport.
“As time went on though, the pull lessoned. Now I assume it was because of your scent fading on her and her belongings.”
“And what do I smell like?” I ask Ryker curiously.
Oh be still my heart! I think it just exploded. I can feel my cheeks warm and then I feel Ryker cup my face with both of his hands, brushing his thumbs softly back and forth, causing tingles to dance across my skin.
“I could have left her. Once the pull I felt towards her diminished, it would have been easy. However, I liked the companionship she afforded me. It was comfortable. Before her, I was lonely. I never had an intimate relationship with a woman before. After years of looking, I was under the impression I would never find my mate. That scared me. I did not want to live the rest of my life alone. Therefore, I decided to stay with her to try to avoid the possibility of a lonely miserable future. To allow me a chance at a happy life. For that, for getting and staying with Chloe, I am truly sorry. I am sorry I lost my faith in finding you. I am sorry I did not wait for you. FUCK! I am just so sorry about everything! However, I am not sorry that in the end, Chloe led me to you.” He gives me an apologetic smile and I can feel the sincerity in his words and actions.
Although I feel the sting and disappointment from him not saving himself for me as I have myself for him, I cannot help but to smile and say, “I forgive you,” because I do. I do not fault him or Chloe for any of their actions.
“I truthfully believe I was destined to meet Chloe so that she would lead me to you. There is no way this was all a coincidence. It was fate. One hundred percent fate. As shitty as some of the circumstances might be. How else would we have ever been brought together? We might not have ever met if it would not have been for your sister and for that fact alone, I will always be grateful to her. I honestly do not think anything about our circumstances is a coincidence. Everything that has happened, happened for a reason. Even if we do not see the reasoning behind it yet, I am sure we will with time. We will look back at this time in our lives when we are old and weathered, and it will all make sense.”
Ryker stops talking for a moment to take a deep breath and then slowly exhales. His brows furrow and his golden brown eyes darken slightly. His eyes flick down to my lips for a second before quickly meeting mine again. He wet his lips with his tongue before proceeding.
“The thing is, even though I was with Chloe for the last 4 years, I never stopped looking for my mate. I never stopped searching for you. Sure, I love Chloe. She is a wonderful person, but I am not in love with her. Not now, and not before I met you. If I would go through with the wedding, I would merely be settling. I knew this before I even proposed, and yet I still followed through with it. I fully regret doing it, by the way. Proposing. I regretted it as soon as the words were out of my mouth and she said yes. What should have been one of the happiest moments of my life left me feeling like shit. I felt my heart sink to my stomach, and my wolf howled in agony and longing for his mate. Again, I was just afraid of ending up alone. It took weeks for my wolf to accept my reasoning, even if he did not approve. He still has not forgiven me fully for it though.”
“Now that I have finally met you, my gorgeous mate, there is no way in hell I can go through with the wedding. As much as it pains me to hurt Chloe, it is inevitable. Whether I would break things off with her or stay with her while not being emotionally invested in the relationship, she will end up hurt either way. We took things really slow and I never let her fully into my life. She has never met my parents, friends, or the pack. She has never been to the pack house either. Hell, she has never even stepped foot on pack territory. I even get a shower and change my clothes after Chloe leaves for work every morning before I go to the pack house so no one catches her scent on me. I have never integrated her into my werewolf world. She essentially knows nothing about me, not really. Something always held me back from letting her in. I know part of it was she was human and not my mate, and because I was still holding on to the hope of finding you. But Rylee, for you, I am willing to do that. To let you in fully. I want you in my life. I want you to be my life. I want my days to begin and end with me holding you tight, feeling your warm soft body pressed up against mine, and looking at your beautiful face. I want my days to be filled with your love and laughter. I want you to be my mate, my luna, and I want you to help me lead our pack. I just know they are all going to love you. They will be so happy to know I finally found you.”
I gasp as tears now swim in my eyes, threatening to spill down my cheeks, all thanks to Ryker’s incredible touching words. I have never been spoken to like that before.
“Ryker,” I gasp out breathlessly. “Those words were so lovely and heartfelt. Thank you. I want that all too. However, Chloe is still my sister. I do not want to hurt her. I know my heart is fully with my mate. With you. It always has been and always will be. I have been waiting a long time for you. To meet you. To love you. To spend my life with you. I just do not know what we do now. Where we go from here. Do you break up with Chloe and we get together? You leaving her for me, her sister whom you just met, would shatter her. And what will my parents think? Me stealing my little sister’s fiancé.” I let out a chocked sob. “It would be so much easier if we could explain the whole werewolf mate thing to them. Unfortunately, nothing in my life has ever come easy.”
I am now bawling. My tears are streaming down my cheeks like a river, and I am biting my bottom lip so hard that I can now taste blood. I look down, ashamed. I do not want Ryker to see me in this state.
“Rylee, don’t you get it?” I hear Ryker say softly as he gently tilts my head up, my eyes meeting his tender gaze. “I might technically be with Chloe right now, but it is you that I want. Forever and always. You have held my heart all along, since the day I was born. If I do not end things with Chloe now, she will just end up getting more hurt in the future. My wolf and I are fully, madly in love with you. We only want you. We cannot continue to live without you now that we found you. We can no longer exist without you.”
A nervous but happy giggle escapes my lips through my sniffles.
“Same, to all the above. My wolf and I cannot go on living without you in our lives. I need you in my life, and not as a brother-in-law. I do not want to fight the mate bond. You are it for me, Ryker. There has never been another, and there never will be. Just you. You were made for me, and I for you.”
“I know, Rylee. It is definitely not the most ideal situation that is for sure. I wish things could have been different, and that we were already mated, but this is the hand we were dealt. Therefore, we will deal with it and then we will move on and live our lives together. I have a plan.”
“So what is your plan?”