C H A P T E R S E V E N
After my shower, I dressed in denim bermuda shorts, a light pink frilly tank top, and white flip-flops. I threw my wet hair into a messy bun on top of my head and started back down stairs. I decided to forgo makeup and jewelry. I do not want to appear to be trying too hard for Ryker’s attention, but damn, do I love it, no matter how wrong it may be. ‘But it is not wrong’ my wolf reminds me. In this instance, I have to agree and disagree. It is and it isn’t. Why can’t my life ever be simple?
As my last foot leaves the stairs and meets the hardwood on the first floor, I see mom and Chloe setting the table for supper. I look into the living room and see dad and Ryker sitting on the couch. Dad is watching a football game, but Ryker is looking at me. His eyes look heated as they deliberately rake up and down my body. He looks utterly entranced by what he sees. It is enough to spark goosebumps all over my arms as my body shivers from the tingles I feel all over. His eyes leisurely continue upward until they reach my eyes. He gives me his panty dropping smirk, and slowly turns back to the tv.
I quickly looked away. My face feels like it is on fire. I cannot not believe I am blushing. My body’s reaction to him is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Not like I have a whole lot of knowledge with this kind of thing to compare it to, but still, I know what I am feeling is extraordinary. It has to be the mate bond I have heard so much about, that is the only explanation I can think of. I quickly look around, making sure that no one is seeing me like this. I do not want to get caught checking out Chloe’s fiancé. That is just morally wrong, even if he is my soulmate handpicked specifically for me by the heavens. Ryker and I need to talk, soon. I let out a heavy sigh, regain my composure and turn towards the kitchen asking mom and Chloe if they can use any help.
After the table was set and dinner was ready, everyone sat down to eat. Dad sat at the head table, and mom directly to his right. I sat to mom’s right. Chloe sat on dad’s left side and Ryker to Chloe’s left, directly across from me. Talk about being uncomfortable. I cannot quit squirming in my seat. This draws my mom’s attention as she playfully swats my arm telling me to sit still. I almost feel like I am five again and being chastised for being antsy. Embarrassment over comes me and I bow my head towards my lap, looking at my fidgeting fingers that are intertwined on top of my thighs.
Although, I get a feeling I am being watched, so I slowly lift my eyes up, keeping my head down. Looking through my eyelashes, I can see Ryker studying me closely, an amused look playing across his alluring face. No one else is aware of his staring. They are too engrossed in whatever discussion they are having. I do not know what they are saying though. All I can hear is the erratic drumming of my own heartbeat. Being this close to my mate and not being able to touch him is absolute torture in its purest form. Finding one’s mate is not intended go down this way. Our interactions have been anything but the norm that is expected during such an exciting time in a werewolf’s life. How will I be able to survive this week unscathed?
There was light conversation throughout dinner, mostly catching up and gossiping, nothing substantial. Finally, the awkward dinner filled with Ryker and I stealing glances at each other when no one was looking ended. I swear Ryker was trying to play footsies with me a few times too. I shot him several glares to get him to stop. He eventually did with a stupid grin on his face. Jerk. He is not making this any easier on us, trying to flirt with me right in front of everyone. God he can be so vexing. I swear my blood pressure must be sky high from the stress he is caused me all throughout dinner.
We all get up from the table, and the men retire to the living room, turning their attention back to yet another football game. At least dad’s attention is on the game. Who knows where Ryker’s is. As they settle onto the couch, dad offers Ryker a beer, which he gladly accepts. Mom, Chloe, and I return to the kitchen clearing away the dirty dishes and excess food. As we wash dishes and pack away the leftovers, Chloe turns to me and asks, “What do you think about Ryker? Since this is your first time meeting him, I want your honest opinion.” Mom turns to look at me, curiosity flashes in her eyes. She wants to know my opinion too. I simply respond, “He is definitely attractive and seems like a genuinely nice guy,” shrugging my answer away like it is no big deal. Knowing he could hear our conversation, I did not want to say too much. I also did not want to give an answer my mom and sister could over analyze.
After cleanup was complete, mom, Chloe, and I went in to the living room with some wine to relax and spend some time with the guys. Chloe sat beside Ryker on the coach and mom did the same with dad. I sat on the armchair off to the side closest to Ryker, but only because this was the only seat left in the living room. The football game just ended so dad turned off the tv and the conversation quickly picks back up. Shortly after, Ryker excuses himself to go to bed, which undoubtedly would be in Chloe’s bedroom upstairs, claiming it was a long day and he needs to get some sleep. He told Chloe that it was ok if she wanted to stay downstairs with our parents and myself to catch up with one another properly. She agreed and he said his good nights and hiked upstairs, but not before sparing me a glance and a wink. I think my heart just melted into a puddle. How is it possible for someone to be so infuriating and endearing at the same time?
I look over at Chloe and notice she looks a little crestfallen. I wonder if Ryker is distancing himself from her since he found me. They have not seemed very lovey dovey in front of me since they arrived this morning. A tinge of guilt washes over me, but then again I am glad they are not all over each other. I do not think I could handle that. I will take the guilt.