C H A P T E R E I G H T E E N
Hahahahah. The look on Rylee’s face was priceless. I was being serious though. I wish we could get a shower together and be a normal couple.
Soon. Very soon.
As I continue to walk up the stairs, I cannot help the goofy grin that stretches across my face. Rylee just makes me so happy.
I reach the top of the stairs and I stall. As my eyes wander left, I inwardly groan, my mood immediately dampening. I have to go in to Chloe’s room to get my clothes. I hope she is still sleeping. I do not want to deal with her yet.
I slowly turn the door handle and push the door open. The curtains are still closed and the room is dark. Even in the dim light, I can see that Chloe is lying on the bed, and I can hear her deep even breaths. Much to my relief, she is still asleep.
I grab my bag, which is still mostly packed, and throw the remaining small items I have laying around, into it. As soon as I am done, I tip toe back out and softly shut the door. I hope that Chloe will remain asleep for a while longer.
As I turn around to go to the spare bedroom, I see Rylee standing in her bedroom doorway, staring at me. I smirk, nod my head to the side for her to follow me, and walk over to the spare bedroom. Once I am inside the room, I throw my bag on the bed, and grab a change of clothes and my toiletries I need for my shower.
Rylee walks in, smiling and gazing at me. I smile back at her. “Do you want to get a shower first?” I ask her.
“No, that is ok. You will probably shower faster than I will. You can go ahead. I will work on edits while I wait. Plus you are smelly.” She wrinkles her nose up and giggles teasingly.
I briskly walk over to her and grab her before she has a chance to escape. She squeals and wiggles in my arms trying to break free.
“Shhh baby. You do not want to wake your sister up, or alert your parents.”
She stills and looks up at me. I hug her tightly against me and press a quick kiss to her nose. The sigh she makes as she melts into me further does something funny to my insides.
“I am going to get a shower before we get ourselves into trouble.” I whisper as I wink at her. Then I place a quick kiss to her forehead before releasing her and taking a step backwards. I immediately feel colder without her in my arms.
“Ok” she whispers, giving me her adorable smile. I love it. It just melts my heart. She then turns around and walks back into her room, closing her door as I go into the bathroom.
I pull out a towel and wash cloth from the linen closet, and get my toiletries situated before stripping down and getting into the shower. I make the water as hot as I can stand it. The steam and hot water are helping to relax me. This week has been more stressful, yet more amazing, then I could have ever imagined. This trip was meant for Chloe and I to spend time with her family. Never in a million years did I think I would find my mate on this trip.
Rylee. My mate. My luna. My queen. I have only known her for a few short days, but she already means more to me than anything else in this entire world. She is my world, and I love her with my whole heart. I cannot wait until we are able to be with each other fully and freely.
Thinking of Rylee gets my blood pumping, and before I know it, my “friend” down under has woken up. I decide to take care of it now because I do not want him to wake up again later and cause any issues.
After I take care of my, ahem, “friend”, I finish washing up. I try to make my shower as quick as possible that way I do not run all of the hot water out for Rylee.
I finish my shower, dry off, brush my teeth, comb my hair, and get dressed. I pull on my tight black t-shirt that I know shows off my defined muscles. Rylee’s eyes are going to pop out of her head. That makes me chuckle. My jeans are not much better. They hug my thighs, and make my my ass look fucking awesome. I smirk as I pull my jeans up and fasten the button.
Once I am decent, I step out of the bathroom and the steam rolls out of the door upwards towards the ceiling. I walk over to Rylee’s door and knock. The next second, her beautiful face is looking back at me.
“Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I am out of the shower, and I am done in the bathroom. It is free if you would like to get your shower now.”
“Ok, thank you.” Rylee says smiling at me. She walks over to her laptop that is sitting on her desk, locks it and pushes the top down to close it. She then turns around and grabs a stack of clothes she has sitting on her bed. I step back as she moves towards me to allow her enough space to exit her bedroom. She pulls her door closed before turning back around to face me, giving me another smile before walking around me and entering the bathroom, shutting the door behind her.
I am still facing the bathroom door after a minute before my brain registers that Rylee is no longer there. I shake my head and turn around to go back into the spare bedroom where I put all my belongings. I search my bag before I find my black socks and shoes I am hunting for. I put them on then exit the room and begin walking back down the stairs.
I am three steps down when I hear the shower start running. I groan knowing Rylee is naked only a few feet away from me. I have to fight myself and my wolf from turning back around and going into the bathroom to join Rylee. Instead, I push myself to keep walking. I do not need to create any additional issues right now. Although, it would be fun.
As I reach the kitchen, I can see Mike is now gone. He must have left for work already. Sandy is at the sink, washing up the dishes.
Sandy turns around to look at me, with a bright smile on her face, as she asks, “Hello, Ryker. Would you like any coffee now, or maybe some breakfast?”
“No, not yet. I need to make a phone call to a colleague back home first. When I am ready, I can get it. Please do not bother yourself with it. Sit down and relax.” I give her an appreciative smile.
“You are so sweet, dear. It really is not any trouble at all though. I missed the girls being home and being able to take care of them like this.” She gives me a reassuring smile. “If you change your mind, and want me to get you anything, do not hesitate to ask. I do have to leave in a little while for a few hours, though. Today is my weekly brunch and books get together with my friends.” Her face lights up when she says that. It must really be something she enjoys.
“No worries. I have a few work things I have to take care of today. So I will work on that while you and Chloe are out.” Lies. I will be spending the time talking with Rylee and Carla. “If you would excuse me, I am going outside to the garden to make my phone call.” I lift my phone up slightly for emphasis.
“Alright. If you need anything, let me know.” With that, Sandy turns back around to the sink to finish washing the dishes. I did not fail to notice the grimace that sprung to her face as she was turning around, though. She probably just remembered that Chloe was going out to lunch with friends today too, and realized Rylee and I would be left alone with each other again. Oh well, I am happy about it. I do not care how anyone else feels about it except for Rylee.
Chloe and Sandy are both acting strange this trip. They have to be picking up on the vibes between Rylee and I, but we have been careful not to reveal anything between us. Not yet anyway.
I shrug to myself and turn around to go out to the backyard through the sliding glass doors. I slide the door closed once I am outside. After I make sure the door is closed completely, I walk to the bench, which is nestled amongst flowers and shrubs in the middle of the garden that is out of earshot of the house, and take a seat.
The exception being Rylee, of course. If she listens hard enough, she will most likely be able to hear some of my conversation from inside the house. If she comes outside, she will probably hear everything I say, and maybe even some of what Carter says. I am not worried if she hears though. She is my mate and luna. What I know and say, she has every right to know and hear as well.
I pull my phone out of my pocket, and find Carter’s number. He is number two on my speed dial. Number one is reserved for my mate. Now that I found her, I should really get Rylee’s phone number and put it into my phone. The line rings twice before I hear it click, and then Carter’s voice is on the other end, greeting me.
“Hey man! What is up? Long time no talk.” He chuckles, dork. “Everything ok in North Caroline?’’
“Hey man. Yeah. Everything is great! I have so much to tell you! First things first, how are you and the rest of the pack doing? It is so hard being this far away from you all for so long. I cannot wait to be back home. North Carolina is no Colorado. Not by a long shot.”
“Everything is running smoothly. It is business as usual, and everyone is doing well from what I know. No problems have been reported. I do not really have anything to report back to you besides what I have already been texting you every day. So… you found your mate? At least North Carolina was good for something. Now get talking. I want to know everything! How is she? What is she like? How did you meet?”
“Oh man, Carter. Her name is Rylee, she is twenty-three, and she is seriously the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I mean absolutely stunning. Everything they say about finding your mate is all true. It was love at first smell, since I smelled her before I saw her, but then it was love at first sight. I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest when I first met her.” I cannot help the big goofy ass smile that is spread across my face. It is so good being able to talk to my best friend about my mate, finally. “She is kind, sweet, caring. Rylee is going to make a great luna. I just know it. Our pack is going to be so lucky to have her. I know I already am.”
“That is awesome, man. I am seriously so happy for you, Ryker. I am glad you finally found her. You have been waiting for this for a long time, and we have been waiting a long time for our luna.” He chuckles and I know he really is truly happy for me, but he is also sad for himself.
I wish he would also find his mate. Everyone deserves to know this kind of happiness. I know how lonely he is not having anyone special in his life.
“So have you, Carter. You have been waiting for your mate just as long as I have. You deserve to find your mate too. Once I get back home, we are going to increase our efforts in finding her for you. Our pack needs their beta female too.”
I mean it. We will hunt to the ends of this earth if we have to, to find Carter’s mate. I want my best friend to be happy and in love. Man, I am turning into a sap. I laugh at myself. I guess that is what being in love does to me.
“I wish I could find my mate, but I am starting to lose hope. What if something happened to her, and I never find her?” He sounds so down, and it hurts my heart. Carter is like my brother, and I will do anything I can to make him happy. “Plus, now I am going to be three wheeling the two of you. I feel like we will never hang out and I will not see you anymore. You are going to be busy making up for lost time.” He sniggers and so do I.
“No dude. We will find her. I promise you. You will get your happily ever after, and we will definitely still hang out. Plus, you work with me, you goofball, so you will still be seeing my ugly mug all the time. You are not getting rid of me that easily. Especially since we both live in the pack house. At least, we will be because I am going to move back in as soon as I get back.” I laugh.
No one knows the real reason why I moved out in the first place. I just told them I needed a little bit of separation from duties and my personal life. However, since Chloe and I will be breaking up, there is no reason for me to live in her apartment any longer. Plus, my pack will finally have their luna, so it is only right for their alpha and luna to live in the pack house.
“And even though I found my mate, it has not all been roses and sunshine. Far from it really.” I heave a sign of frustration, and use my free hand to rub my temple.
“I gathered that from your texts. Why the trouble in paradise? I am here if you need a listening ear.” Carter is a great listener, and I trust him whole-heartedly. I know he will not tell anyone. I was planning on telling him anyway, might as well be now.
“Man, I honestly do not even know where to begin. It is actually a long story that started four years ago.”
I then proceed to tell Carter about Chloe. How I met her, why I was initially drawn to her, that I have been living with her the last couple of years, the measures I would take every day so Chloe’s scent would not be on me when I went to the pack house, and that she is actually my fiancée. That I only proposed to her because I was afraid I would never find my mate. How I planned on introducing Chloe into my true life once we got back from our trip, and that I was going to make her luna after our wedding we were supposed to have next year. I told him how I am in North Carolina visiting Chloe’s family, not on business, and how my mate is actually my fiancée’s sister.
Carter lets out a heavy breath. “Oh shit, dude. That is insane. I am not envious of your situation right now. First off, how could you hide something like this from me, and for so long too? I am not mad at you for keeping it a secret though. I understand why you did it. I do, I get it. Second, what are you going to do now?”
“Dude, I know!” I let out a huff of frustration. “I am sorry for keeping the whole Chloe thing from you. I just felt, I do not know, like a failure I guess, for not being able to find my mate, and less of an alpha by choosing a human for my mate. I was afraid I would never find my mate, and I did not want to be lonely anymore. Pathetic, I know. It was just nice having someone special like that around. Now it is coming back to bite me in the ass. What I had with Chloe holds no comparison for what I feel when I am with Rylee though. This shit is driving me crazy. Rylee, my perfect mate, and I, have to act like there is not this magnetic attraction trying to pull us together all the time. We have to fight the mate bond and keep our distance so Chloe and her parents do not get suspicious. I cannot get enough of Rylee though. I just want to be around her all the time. I want to touch and kiss her every second of the day. Trying to separate myself from her and not acting on our attraction is killing me. I am quite literally, just barely holding on to the last bit of restraint that I have, but it feels like the thread that is holding me together is wearing thin, and is about to snap. We both agreed we want to be respectful to Chloe until I end our relationship, though, and I think that is the only thing keeping me from crossing that line.”
I then tell Carter the plan Rylee and I came up with about how I plan on dealing with Chloe.
“Man, Ryker. Talk about a shitty situation. At least you will have gained your mate out of this whole situation. Got to look on the bright side.” Carter tries to reassure me.
“Definitely. It is the only thing keeping me going at the moment. Hey, I have to run soon, but could you do me a favor?”
“Sure, anything. You know that. What’s up?”
I proceed to fill Carter in on how Rylee’s adoptive parents found her, and everything she knows about that situation and time in her life.
“Could you please do some research for me and see if an alpha/luna or a beta couple was killed in this area around twenty-three years ago and if their baby went missing? I want to try to track down Rylee’s biological family and her pack. Try to give her closure and help her reconnect with her long lost loved ones. I think it would mean a lot to her.”
“Yeah, no problem. I will start looking as soon as I get off the phone. I will let you know if I find anything.”
“Thanks, Carter. I really appreciate it. Text me later with the pack update.”
“You are welcome. Yes, I will text you later. Thanks for calling and telling me everything. It will all work out. See you in a couple of days, man.”
I sit in the garden for a few more minutes after ending the phone call with Carter, just thinking about everything, and then trying to clear my head of it all.
I really hope Carter can find something out. I really want to be able to help Rylee find out the truth about her past.
I also cannot wait to go back to Colorado. The sooner Chloe is out of the picture, the better. Then I can fully be with Rylee, my dazzling mate and the love of my life. It is going to be magic.
At least I have something to look forward to today. Mike is at work. Sandy and Chloe are both going out with friends. That leaves Rylee and I alone together again. Plus, Rylee is going to take me to meet Carla. The only other werewolf living around this area. I look forward to asking her some questions. I have a feeling she is holding some of the answers I seek.
I slowly stand up, stretching every muscle as I do so. After I am done stretching, I turn and walk back towards the house.
As I get closer, I can hear that Chloe is now up.
A/N: I know in my last author’s note, I said chapter 18 would hold the conversation with Carla. I decided to have Ryker talk to Carter instead. Chapter 19 will definitely hold the Carla convo though. Also, I try to alternate POV’s every chapter, but I want the conversation with Carla to be told from Ryker’s POV, so chapter 19 will start with his POV again. And just a reminder, my brother is coming home this week and staying for two weeks. During this time, there may not be an update. Please bear with me. I will try my best to update at least once, but I am not making any promises. Just know I will update with the next chapter asap. As always, thank you so much for reading. It means a lot to me. 4/12/2021