C H A P T E R S E V E N T E E N
HOLY SHIT! Talk about a blow up. I have never heard Chloe like that before. That was intense. I am sincerely starting to worry about her mental health. I do not know what has gotten her. I am also silently thankful that I was not on the receiving end of her rage. Poor Ryker. How she just behaved genuinely makes me fear for when she actually finds out about Ryker and I. Who knows what her reaction is going to be. Especially if she is already becoming so unhinged.
“I am sorry” I hear Ryker apologize through the wall, and my heart breaks. I feel so bad for him. I wish I could go comfort him, but that probably is not the best idea right now. I know he is pissed by the way he slammed Chloe’s bedroom door, but at least we have a spare bedroom he can stay in tonight instead of sleeping on the couch.
Ugh! Thanks you big blaring beacon in the night. I guess I should try to get some sleep, but my mind is still reeling from Ryker and Chloe’s fight. I am positive mom and dad heard it too. Chloe was screaming too loud for even the neighbors to miss it.
Tomorrow is going to be so awkward.
Thank goodness Chloe has that luncheon tomorrow. It will get her out of the house and away from us for a little bit at least.
Maybe I will take Ryker to meet Carla while she is out.
I roll over, away from my bright alarm clock, and face the wall that sits between Ryker and I. I wish he was lying here with me, holding me tight against his hard, delicious body. Soon we will be able to snuggle together in bed, and I cannot wait.
My eyes finally start getting heavy and I can feel myself drifting off to sleep.
My eyes slowly flutter open, and I am greeted with the darkness of my bedroom. Great. What time is it? I turn towards my alarm clock to check the time and inwardly groan.
UGH! Great! I will not be able to go back to sleep either. Once I am up, I am up. Grrrr. Five hours is definitely not enough sleep.
I guess I might as well get up and start my day. No point lying here tossing around on my bed. It will be getting daylight soon enough anyway. I could go for a run. That would do me some good to help alleviate the tension and stress I am feeling from the build up of the last couple of days, and especially after last night’s events.
I throw my blankets off, and place my feet on my soft carpeted bedroom floor. I raise my arms above my head, arching my back, and stretching my fingers towards the ceiling while moving my head side to side, laying it on my shoulders, stretching my neck out. After my muscles are all loosened up, I slowly stand, groaning as I do so.
It is entirely too freaking early to be up. Even my birdie friends that live outside my window are still asleep.
I go over to my dresser slowly and pull out a cute sports bra, a loose tank top, and matching capris. This is my favorite running outfit. It is teal with white and grey designs. I love the colors and it makes my body look great too. Always a plus, and it just makes me happier to work out in general. I definitely need all the feel goods today.
I get dressed and pull on my grey running sneakers. Then I make my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth and pull my long hair up into a ponytail that sits in the middle of the back of my head. I hate when my hair is down while I work out and it sticks fast to my face and neck due to the sweat. That aggravates me to no end.
After I finish getting ready, I check my sports watch that I put on for my run, and realize it is already six o’clock. The sun should definitely be up now. After one last check in the mirror, I open the bathroom door so I can head downstairs.
“Oof”. Talk about walking into a wall. Jeez, that hurt. I rub my now sore nose. Maybe I am still half asleep. Wait...tingles....
“Sorry I did not mean to walk into you. Wait where are you off to this early?”
I jump at the sound of someone else talking. I thought I was the only one awake, and it startled me. I look up to see Ryker staring at me with curiously. “Sorry, I did not mean to wake you up, and I didn’t mean to walk into you either. I was in my own little world. I did not realize you were out here in the hallway. I thought everyone was still asleep.”
“It is ok. I did not sleep well, considering everything that happened last night. I am sure you heard. Sorry about that by the way. I just wanted to talk to Chloe to set some ground rules for the remainder of the trip, but she flipped out on me when I asked her to cover up so I could talk to her.” He hangs his head and looks utterly defeated.
“Hey. It is ok. There is no reason for you to apologize to me. If anything, Chloe owes you an apology, as well as everyone else for the way she acted. You did nothing wrong. I think you acted admirably.” I cup his face gently, as he raises his head to look at me. We look into each other’s eyes for a few seconds before I quickly pull my hand back and look around. “I am actually going out for a run to work off some stress. Would you like to join me? I usually run for about an hour or so around town.”
“Yeah, actually that sounds great. I could use some stress relief right about now. Just let me get dressed. I will be down in about five minutes. Ok?”
“Ok” I smile at him and head downstairs. While I wait, I grab two water bottles out of the fridge. The house is quiet. Ryker and I must still be the only ones awake right now. Suits me just fine.
I sit down on a kitchen stool at the island while I mess with my phone band on my arm, adjusting it. Usually I listen to music while I run, but today I will not be. I will either be talking to Ryker or listening to the surrounding sounds. Either will be fine to me. Just having him with me will provide a comfort and companionship I am not used to having on my runs. I am still taking my phone though, just so I have it. I never go anywhere without it.
I hear Ryker quietly close a door upstairs, and then he softly jogs down the stairs before meeting me in the kitchen. He is wearing black running sneakers, grey jogging pants, and a white tank top that shows off his delicious arm muscles. “Hey. You ready to hit the ground running?” He gives me a cheeky boyish grin.
I roll my eyes but smile. It is nice to see his goofy side. It makes me feel like a giddy teenager and I secretly love it. “Sure. Let’s go. Do you have anywhere in particular you would like to run, or do you just want to go on one of my usual paths?”
“Where ever you want to go is fine. You know I am not that familiar with the area. I will follow you. Anywhere. Always.”
He looks at me with so much emotion, and my insides literally melt. It is so hard to fathom that I only met Ryker two days ago, and yet he already has this hold on me. I love it. I love him. He is such a sweetheart, and romantic.
“O...ok.” I stutter and I can feel myself blush. I give him a shy smile. He returns it with a wide smile of his own. ‘We will take the scenic route around town then. Here is a water bottle if you want it.” I say while handing Ryker a bottle of water. Our fingers slightly touch, and a zap of electricity zips from my finger, up my arm, and straight down to my core, causing me to gasp and pull my hand back quickly.
“Thank you.” He says, smirking and taking the water bottle from me. He looks around quickly, and then pecks a chaste kiss on my cheek. “After you.” He gestures with his hand towards the door.
My face is now burning, and bright red, no doubt. OMG. My mate is something else. I do not know if he does this to me to be sweet or to torture me. Judging by the grin on his face though, maybe it is a little bit of both.
With that, I quickly turn on my heels and head towards the front door. Once we are outside and standing on the driveway, I take a quick sip of my water. Then we stretch for a few minutes before we start our warm up jog.
“You think Chloe is going to be pissed if she wakes up before we get back, and she realizes you are gone?” I ask Ryker, glancing at him from the corner of my eye, trying to gage his reaction.
He scoffs. “I honestly do not even care. You are the only who’s opinion matters to me, and after last night, I could not care less about what her reaction will be. Hell, maybe she will be happy, thinking I took off. Who knows what she is thinking with the way she has been acting.”
“Yeah,” I sigh. “I have no clue what has gotten into her. Obviously it was not you last night.” I cannot help but contain my laughter and he snickers. “Sorry, I could not help it.” I shoot him an apologetic look.
He shakes his head. “Never again babe. I promise you. Only you from now until always. I am truly sorry I did not wait for you.” He looks over at me with regret.
I wave my hand in the air dismissively. “It is all water under the bridge. You cannot change your past, but you can control your future. If you are promising me I am your future, I believe you.” I shoot him a smile. “And babe?”
He shrugs and throws me his boyish smirk. “Has a nice ring to it.”
“Yeah. It does. I like it.” I smile at him again. Actually, I do not think I have stopped smiling.
“I am also planning on sleeping in the spare bedroom for the remainder of the trip. I have not felt comfortable sleeping in Chloe’s room since we met, and after last night, I am even more uncomfortable with it.”
“I do not blame you one bit. How she reacted was uncalled for. You were trying to be respectful and a gentleman. My parents will not have a problem with you sleeping in there either. So do not worry about it.”
He nods, and with that, we start running faster. The warm up jog is now over, and the real run has now begun. We may not be able to talk much now, but just having him with me on my run means so much. This is one of those special moments in my life that my heart will cherish until my dying day.
As we run, Ryker and I continually challenge each other to be faster. At some points, we are downright sprinting. It is fun to have a little competition and to be pushed beyond what I am used to, but I can handle it.
As we come within a couple miles of home, our run slows back down to a cool down jog. The last several blocks, we slow down even more to a brisk walk.
We both have sweat pouring down our bodies, with goofy ass grins plastered onto our faces. I look over at Ryker in a not so subtle fashion, and my eyes shamelessly rake down over his body as I guzzle my water. His white tank top is now almost see through and sticking to him like a second skin. Every line of every delicious muscle is on full display, and I can feel my panties growing wet. It is not from sweat either. His powerful muscles ripple down his chest, abs, and back as he moves, and I swear it is the most glorious sight I have ever seen.
As my eyes continue downward, I hear Ryker clear his throat. My eyes immediately shoot up to meet his, and I instantly feel my face redden. He has a shit eating grin on his face, but his eyes are clouded with lust.
“Like what you see?” His voice is gruff with desire, and it turns me on even more. His eyes trail down over my body in return, drinking me in appreciatively.
“Yeah.” My voice comes out hoarse and needy, but I am not ashamed. I know Ryker wants me just as much as I want him.
With that, he grabs me and pushes me up against the fence that belongs to the house four down from my parents. He presses his body as tightly as he can against mine, just shy of us physically becoming one. I can feel his excitement too. He is being forceful, but not causing me any pain. If anything, it only excites me more. Ryker knows it too. His nose twitches and his eyes become hooded as he smells my desire’s scent wafting through the air. I quickly look around to make sure no one is watching us.
“Ryker, “I whisper, my voice raspy, “what are you doing?”
“Shhh baby. My control is quite literally hanging on by a thread, and I do not know how much longer I can fight myself.”
With that, his eyes flutter closed as he leans his forehead against mine while lacing his fingers through mine on my left hand, threading his other hand in my hair, as he inhales deeply. I take my free hand and cup his face. His jaw and cheek is prickly beneath my palm from his stubble. His breath that is fanning my face, and the tingles that are lighting up my body from his touch, combine to create a heady mix of ecstasy that is now pumping through me.
Ryker lets out a low growl. “Fuck it. I cannot take this anymore.”
Before I can question him, his lips meet mine passionately, finally fusing us together for the first time. Fireworks explode throughout my body. My wolf is howling in pleasure, and I have never felt anything so euphoric before in my life. Ryker possesses a magic made only for my body, and I will never tire of it. I love the way he makes me feel. This kiss is amazing, and I never want it too end.
We continue kissing for a few minutes before a low growl rumbles from deep within Ryker’s throat, and he pulls his mouth away from mine quickly, keeping the rest of our bodies connected. He places his forehead back on mine, wrapping his arms around my waist as he continues to hold me close. We are both breathing heavily, our chests are heaving up and down. I slowly open my eyes only to see he is already gazing at me.
“I am so sorry, Rylee. I did not mean to kiss you. Do not get me wrong, I want to kiss you every second of every day. I will never tire of you. However, I know we agreed not to become intimate in any way until I ended things with Chloe. I just could not help it. I was caught up in the moment. I also did not mean to pull away so abruptly. I just had to before this went any further. As I said, my restraint is shot. It is getting increasingly harder to hold myself back from you. Please forgive me.” He rambles out, clearly frustrated.
I nod my head. “Hey. It is ok. I understand. I feel the same way, and there is nothing to forgive. As long as it does not go any further, I am not worrying about Chloe. Also, I am not complaining. As far as first kisses go, I would say that was pretty amazing.” I say with a smirk. Ryker’s eyes widen. “You already knew I had never been kissed before.” I giggle at him.
He nods his head. “Oh yeah. Sorry I forgot. It is just so hard to believe. You are so gorgeous. All the other guys must be blind. Not that I am complaining. I am ecstatic I get to have your firsts.” He says while smirking and winking at me.
I look over his shoulder and see the neighbor’s, across the street from where we are standing, curtain move. “Shit!” I hiss, quickly pushing Ryker away gently with my hands on his chest. I look around swiftly, but I do not see anyone else watching us.
“What’s wrong?” Ryker asks anxiously. His body is ridged and on high alert as he looks around.
“Sorry, the nosy neighbor behind you was watching us from the window. We should get back.” He agrees, looking over his should at the house in question, but the curtain is already back in place, my neighbor now gone from view.
He then guzzles the rest of his water. I take a sip of mine before dumping the rest over my head. Ryker gives me an amused look.
“What? I am all hot and bothered thanks to you!” I say while shrugging and playfully slapping in arm.
He chuckles and grabs my hand. Bringing it up to his mouth, he places a gentle kiss on the back of it before lowering our hands, but not releasing mine.
“Sorry,” he says chuckling again, “if it is any consolation, I have myself all worked up too.” I just shake my head, equally amused and totally on cloud nine. He makes me so happy.
Right before we reach my parents’ house, we release our hands from one another’s hold, and walk up the driveway side by side.
As we enter the house, I can hear that my parents are now awake, and that they are both currently in the kitchen. They both look up at us instantly when we come into view, clearly startled. They must not have expected anyone else to be awake yet, but their surprise disappears quickly. Mom has a confused look on her face at seeing us together, and dad looks at us questionably.
I deliberately move to put some space between Ryker and I.
“What did you two get into already this early in the morning?” Dad asks, quirking an eyebrow at us. He looks slightly amused.
I look down at my fitness watch to see that it is already 7:37. Dad must be getting ready for work. He is eating his breakfast that mom so lovingly prepares for him every day before he has to leave for the office. So sweet.
“We went for a run.” I answer truthfully.
“I see” was his only reply as he looks between Ryker and I. His eyes convey that he has more questions, but he holds back. For that, I am thankful. I do not want to answer any difficult questions right now. Especially ones I may not have the answers to or that I may not be able to answer truthfully.
Unfortunately, mom has some questions of her own, and she does not hold back. She clears her throat, pinning me with a look. My mouth pops open in shock with how much venom is in her glare. What did I do?
Dad and Ryker both look between mom and I before she moves her deadly stare to Ryker, not releasing his eyes from her hold. His body goes rigid. Poor guy. Mom’s stare downs can be downright scary, and this is definitely one of those times. I see him visibly swallow as his breath hitches.
Mom narrows her eyes at Ryker. Then she releases her questions on him.
“What happened between you and Chloe last night? Is everything ok? Is there something we should know? We heard the fight between the two of you last night. It sounded nasty. We have not gotten the chance to ask Chloe about it yet. So I am asking you first.” Mom questions Ryker, her eyes hard as steel. She is trying to gage his reaction.
I am only able to watch this all unfold as a bystander, unable to help in the slightest bit, and I feel so useless.
Ryker finds his resolve, and hardens his own stare, not once removing it from my mom’s. He is either extremely brave or incredibly stupid. I am not able to decide just yet. If this was not a serious situation, I would probably laugh. However, that would be entirely inappropriate right now, and I doubt anyone would appreciate it.
Ryker squares is shoulders, standing at his full height. “I am truly sorry Mr. and Mrs. Rogers that you had to hear that. I was trying to be respectful to you and set some boundaries with Chloe for the duration of our stay here, but she did not agree with me. Things became heated with our disagreement. Everything will be fine. However, I think the two of us need to cool down for a few days. Which is why when I saw Rylee leaving for her run this morning, I asked her if I could join. I needed to blow off some steam. Also, if you do not mind, I would like to stay in the spare bedroom for the time being until Chloe and I can smooth things over.”
I swallow the lump in my throat and feel nauseous. I know they will not reconcile and Ryker is just saying that to appease my parents, but that does not make hearing those words any easier. Just the thought of Ryker and Chloe possibly working things out makes me feel ill. I know they will not though, and that is the only thing preventing me from actually being sick.
I can see out of the corner of my eye that dad has been watching me meticulously throughout mom and Ryker’s exchange. It is somewhat unnerving. His actions have been confusing me, and I wish I knew what he was thinking.
I see mom’s eyes visibly soften as she walks over to Ryker and pats his shoulder. “Ok dear. Thank you for telling us your side. I know Chloe can get a little hot headed sometimes when she does not get her way.” What? Really? That is news to me. “Please just be patient with her. You two will work this out, and everything be fine.” She gives him a reassuring smile. “You are a good boy Ryker. Thank you for being good to my daughter.” She pats him on the shoulder again before walking over to the coffee pot.
“Would you two like any coffee?” She turns around to look at us. The smile is now back on her face, and it has softened to her loving expression that I am much more familiar with.
“No thank you. I need to get a shower. Maybe after.” I say shaking my head slightly as I angle my body towards the stairs, getting ready to start my journey to the second floor.
“I agree with Rylee. I need a shower first as well. However, I will definitely take you up on that offer after. I did not sleep well last night, and with the early morning, I could use some caffeine.”
Mom nods, but both her and dad now have reserved looks on their faces as they continue to look between Ryker and I.
I begin my walk to the stairs and Ryker follows.
“What are you doing?” I hiss quietly when we are out of the eye-line and earshot of my parents.
“Getting a shower, like I just said I was going to.” Ryker answers with an amused look on his face.
“Ryker, we cannot take a shower together if that is what you are getting at?” I whisper yell at him in exasperation.
He chuckles at me and says, “Dang, there goes my plan.”
I stiffen and look at Ryker. “Seriously, Ryker? Chloe will be right next door and my parents will be right below the bathroom?” I cannot believe the audacity he has right now.
He pouts, shrugging his shoulders. “I was just making a joke. Kind of. Consider it wishful thinking. But I am putting it on the to do list.” With that, he winks and walks past me, sauntering up the stairs, leaving me to gape at his back.